'We'd prefer if they say we're no chance': Freo flying under the radar

FREMANTLE coach Trent Cooper says he is happy for his team to be underestimated in 2020 after racing to a 2-0 start to the season.

The Dockers stamped their premiership credentials on Saturday with a ferocious 45-point win in the first AFLW Derby. 

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They sit atop conference B and boast the best record across the League, with a booming percentage of 241.9.

Cooper, in his second season in charge and fresh off leading the Dockers to a preliminary final in 2019, believed Freo had flown under the radar in the opening fortnight to the new campaign. 

That is likely to change, however, after a statement game against crosstown rival West Coast and a Saturday showdown with conference B rival Collingwood.

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"Teams on the eastern seaboard are going really well and we haven't been talked about too much as a chance at this stage, which suits us," coach Trent Cooper said.  

"Hopefully we can just keep ticking off a few more wins in the next few weeks, particularly against Collingwood, who we know are a much-improved side. 

It doesn't really worry us. We'd prefer if they say we're no chance to be honest

Trent Cooper

"But we're happy with what we're doing internally and the group are a really happy group at the moment."

The Dockers' chemistry as a fourth-year club has been obvious in the opening fortnight of the 2020 season, with Cooper proud of the way his senior players have taught the game plan and set standards. 

It has allowed draftees like NAB AFL Women's Rising Star nominee Roxy Roux and Mim Strom to come in and have an impact quickly, and second-year Dockers Katie-Jayne Grieve and Jasmin Stewart to lift their output significantly. 

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"She got under my guard for most of pre-season and probably, to be honest, I wouldn't have had her in our 21 about four or five weeks out," Cooper said of Grieve. 

"Then she's just exploded. She's got elite speed, she's so hard the way she attacks the contest, and she's played very little footy. 

"This year she's gone to another level. 

"For her and Jasmine Stewart to step up has been crucial to us and allows us to play Kara Antonio out on a wing to give us more balance." 

Katie-Jayne Grieve celebrates a goal in the first AFLW Derby. Picture: AFL Photos

For star Docker Kiara Bowers, who was "ecstatic" with the form of her midfield teammates, it is all pointing to an exciting season for the 2019 preliminary finalists.  

"I feel good. We're up and about," Bowers said.  

"You know when the girls are happy and you're having fun, but you're also playing good footy, that's what it feels like. 

"There's never a sense of being scared out there that we're going to lose it. We always feel confident, the girls get around each other, and I'm excited about what's to come."