The topic of leadership became a bugbear during Nat Fyfe’s time recovering from injury last season. The Freemantle Docker captain talks to Inside Sport about his frustrations of last season and where his leadership style comes from.
After long-time skipper Pavlich stood down as captain at the end of 2015, and on the back of his brilliant Brownlow-winning season, many outsiders predicted that Fyfe would be named Fremantle’s leader for 2016. Instead, Mundy received the vote from the playing group.
“I wasn’t disappointed not to be named captain,” he says, “but, I know that’s how it gets positioned from the media, and that dialogue then runs its course. And that can be hard to stomach, because that’s not accurate, it’s not true. It is something you have to deal with playing professional footy.”
Fyfe has put this behind him and is now working on being the best captain. The recently appointed Dockers captain stated that he has had a strong leadership role model very close throughout his entire life.
“I have a leadership bias towards Dad, because from my earliest days he was the main influence in my life,” Fyfe says. “He’s got some really strong characteristics in leading men, and he’s very passionate and driven – he loves what he does.”
“But he also knows that he can’t fix everything; that he needs to let time do its thing. He has some interesting ways of handling people and situations, and he’s got some rough edges, but I certainly take a lot of my traits from him. I think it drives him as well. He constantly surprises me with things that he’s doing in regards to his willingness to drop everything and help somebody else – no matter the personal cost to him.”
“And I think that is a really admirable trait that he has, and something that I want to emulate as well.”
Nat Fyfe is an Adidas ambassador.