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Freo s fight to win fans
Freo's fight to win fans

Former captain Peter Mann wants Fremantle to invade West Coast's heartland to attract the next generation of members before Burswood Stadium opens in 2018 as part of a bold plan to make the Dockers the most popular club in Australia.

Mann, who is one of six nominations for the member-elected position on Fremantle's board, has started preparing a battle plan for the Dockers to attract supporters from non-traditional areas, and even interstate.

Fremantle signed up 42,918 members last season, the eighth most in the competition.

West Coast had more than 57,000 members during 2012, placing them behind only Collingwood and Hawthorn.

Burswood Stadium will have 60,000 seats and Mann, who has worked in strategic planning with Cricket Australia, Fremantle, the AFL Players' Association, Fosters Brewing and the AFL, said it was vital the club prepared now so it could play in front of a packed crowd every week.

"We need to build and grow our supporter base to, in my mind, not just rival West Coast but become potentially the largest football club supporter base in Australia. I think we have the opportunity to do that," Mann said.

"Western Australia is a two-team State.

"It's a growing, burgeoning economy with a significant number of new people coming to the State every year.

"Fremantle needs to broaden its inclusiveness so people who may have historically been domiciled in what might have been a northern suburb or something the West Coast Eagles might have perceived as a strong point, those people see Fremantle as an obvious choice."

Mann is competing with current director Kate Grieve, Summit Fertiliser executive Murray Browne, Key Start Loans chief financial officer John Vojkovich, public relations consultant Chris Lewis and real estate director John Garland for the vacancy on the board.

He urged all Dockers members to vote before the November 26 deadline.

Having played for North Melbourne before moving to Fremantle, Mann said it was hard to increase membership once clubs became ingrained in certain parts of the State.

"One of the issues North had was the geographical wedge that it had to deal with based on a long history of where they were located, surrounded by Collingwood, Carlton and Essendon," he said.