Their build-up may have been overwhelmed by drama, but Fremantle coach Ross Lyon insists he's focused on the Dockers starting the 2019 AFL season strongly at home against North Melbourne.
Gun forward Jesse Hogan's Dockers debut has been delayed after a drunken night out meant he was in no condition to train last week. He was subsequently made unavailable for selection due to clinical anxiety.
Harley Bennell, meanwhile, continues to attract trouble, finding himself part of a police investigation after an altercation at a pre-season game.
Despite Aaron Sandilands, Stephen Hill, Connor Blakely and Hogan not being available against the Kangaroos on Sunday, Lyon said he was looking forward to his eighth season in charge at the Dockers.
There'd be no complacency against North Melbourne, he insisted.
"I've never walked (into) any game thinking we're going to win, I always feel the opposite, with the fear of defeat," Lyon said.
"I can guarantee that we've had a strong summer, we've refined our game plan and we want to be strong in the contest and penetrate with the ball.
"As a young group we're going to have some challenges, but we can't wait to see (Andrew) Brayshaw and (Adam) Cerra with the experience of (Reece) Conca and (Travis) Colyer. We feel like we have one of the best players in the competition, Nat Fyfe, leading us and there's a lot of excitement."
North Melbourne will make the trip to Perth with five new faces, including ex-Port Adelaide recruits Jasper Pittard and Jared Polec, former Gold Coast utility Aaron Hall and ex-Melbourne midfielder Dom Tyson.
Father-son draftee Bailey Scott will also debut, and coach Brad Scott isn't expecting outside noise to affect Fremantle's performance.
"Every club goes through challenges throughout the year, some on the eve of the season and some later on. It can really challenge you or galvanise you," Scott said.
"We are expecting Fremantle at their best and not to pin their hopes on one player. That would be folly - we wouldn't do that (and) we don't expect them to do that either."
Australian Associated Press