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“Could have a blazer”: Is Freo skipper putting together an early All-Aus campaign?


Has Fremantle captain Alex Pearce been one of the two best key defenders in the competition so far this season? AFL journalist Josh Gabelich certainly thinks so.

While Sam Taylor no doubt has led the charge, Gabelich thinks that Pearce would be next in line to partner him if an All-Australian team was picked through five games.

Pearce has been key in Freo’s strong 3-2 start and while the Dockers went down to the Power 66-63 on Saturday night, the skipper was one of his side’s best in defeat with 20 disposals. His direct opponent Charlie Dixon also admitted post-game that he was “dominated” by the defender.

The 28-year-old has also been involved in the most contested one-on-ones this year in the AFL with 29 and has lost just nine of those.

Gabelich has been impressed by Pearce’s form particularly after the decision to appoint him skipper last year raised many eyebrows in Perth.

“Is Alex Pearce currently an All-Australian after five rounds?” Gabelich asked on SEN Crunch Time.

“His start to the year, after everything he went through last year, the criticism that guy copped in Perth after being appointed captain ahead of Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw was fierce and his form was disappointing.

“But right now, I think he's got a blazer. It's early in the year and there's a lot of footy to play, but if you were picking a team now (he’d be in it).

“If we’re picking one after Round 5, I think he’s there. He’s been unbelievable.”

Gabelich’s co-host Cam Luke thinks that Pearce’s strong form is also a by-product of his maturing as a skipper with a season in the job under his belt.

“I think he’s had a lot to do with Fremantle’s start,” Luke said.

“There’s been two major things, Alex Pearce’s year (on the field) and probably his maturity as a captain.

“The fact is he's having a much better year this year than he did in 2023.”

Pearce will hope to keep his strong form up when the Dockers face the Eagles in the Western Derby next Saturday at Optus Stadium.

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