Lee Spurr admits he is one of several Fremantle players performing below their best, but believes tonight's Anzac Day clash with North Melbourne is the perfect stage to rediscover the willpower that drove last year's premiership challenge.
A member of Fremantle's leadership group, Spurr has urged his teammates to overcome the indifferent early-season form that has them in fifth position with a 3-2 record.
Tonight's Len Hall tribute match against North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium was the ideal opportunity, Spurr said.
"Our effort hasn't been good enough consistently," he said.
"That's probably the biggest thing - the willpower and the desire (has been lacking).
"We need to really ignite that this week and bring it to life.
"Personally, I've been trying to play my role for the team. I haven't executed to the best of my abilities so far this year, but we're only in round six so going forward there's opportunity.
"Every week you're putting yourself on the line to be judged.
"I've got to keep improving and playing my role better for the team."
Fremantle yesterday made two changes for the match, replacing the suspended Hayden Ballantyne and omitted Matt Taberner with Hayden Crozier and Tom Sheridan.
The Kangaroos called up Majak Daw, Jack Ziebell, Joel Tippett and Robin Nahas to cover for Daniel Wells (foot) and Scott Thompson (suspended), and Daniel Currie and Ben Jacobs, who were both dropped.
Spurr was among a raft of Fremantle players, including Chris Mayne, Michael Walters and Cameron Sutcliffe, who enjoyed breakout seasons last year in helping the club march to a maiden grand final appearance.
So far in 2014, the tale has been a far different one.
Walters is likely to miss the rest of the season following ankle surgery, Mayne is battling groin soreness and ankle problems, and Sutcliffe's form and grip on a regular berth in defence is slipping on the back of two losses in the past three games.
Spurr, whose standing at Fremantle soared in just his second full AFL season as he excelled as the club's specialist small defender, has also suffered from a slight dip in his performances.
Spurr said he had the "utmost faith" that Mayne, who has just one goal to his name after four matches, would respond appropriately to external criticism.
He said the team could take inspiration from Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, who addressed the club before last year's Len Hall match.
Spurr's grandfather served in the Royal Australian Air Force and the honour of playing on Anzac Day is not lost on him.