Dockers back list to push for flag

Craig O'Donoghue, Melbourne
Brad Lloyd. Pic: WA News

Fremantle are confident they will still be serious premiership threats next year despite being one of just four clubs to not add a player during the trade period.

The Dockers made the 2013 grand final but tumbled to sixth this year after losing to Sydney and Port Adelaide in the opening weeks of the finals.

The AFL banned Sydney from bolstering their list as it moves towards removing their cost of living allowance, while West Coast and Richmond didn't trade, but all the other clubs tweaked their lists by recruiting key players.

Hawthorn, who will be gunning for a hat-trick of flags next year, added Melbourne defender James Frawley and 2012 No.2 draft pick Jono O'Rourke.

Port Adelaide pulled off a coup by snaring Essendon ruckman-forward Paddy Ryder, while North Melbourne recruited experienced pair Jarrad Waite (Carlton) and Shaun Higgins (Western Bulldogs).

Geelong added Mitch Clark from Melbourne, Rhys Stanley from St Kilda and swapped some selections to also secure the 10th pick in next month's national draft.

Essendon added Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney, Greater Western Sydney ruckman Jonathan Giles and St Kilda defender James Gwilt.

Fremantle targeted Frawley as a free agent but he decided to remain in Victoria.

Dockers general manager of player management Brad Lloyd said his club believed its improvement would come from within instead of chasing players from other clubs.

"We think there's still growth in our playing list," Lloyd told _The West Australian _. "For total games under 24 (years old), we are ranked fourth in the competition. That's behind GWS, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide, so we've got a really big wave of young players coming through.

"You're talking Fyfe, Hill, Lachie Neale, Sutcliffe - these type of players.

"We need to keep growing, we'll use the draft to keep adding there. We've got full faith in the playing list."

Lloyd denied Fremantle were struggling to recruit elite talent from other clubs. He said while the Dockers had been linked to several high-profile players, their decision to focus on a small group of players meant it was harder to sign them.

He said Fremantle were happy to retain their own talent or pick players as free agents instead of giving away draft picks.

"There's only been a couple we have genuinely approached. They're top-line players and they are in demand and harder to get across," Lloyd said.

The Dockers will enter the draft with picks 13 and 34. Lloyd said Fremantle would stick with their policy of drafting the best player available instead of targeting a position on the field.

West Coast have picks 11 and 32 in the first two rounds of the draft.

The Eagles have already committed to drafting Alec Waterman under the father-son rule with their final selection.