Cam McCarthy delivers at last for Dockers
IT TOOK two attempts to land him at the trade table and almost 18 months of waiting to unleash him in a purple jumper.
But on Saturday afternoon, Fremantle recruit Cam McCarthy proved he was worth the wait.
The hybrid forward, who crossed over from the GWS Giants last year after spending a year on the sidelines, gave Dockers fans a glimpse of his star potential at the MCG, while also proving that he could fill the massive forward 50 chasm that has plagued Freo for years.
McCarthy was one of the Dockers' top performers in their memorable two-point shoot-out win over Melbourne. He booted 2.3 - including the match-winning goal with less than two minutes left thanks to a snap and grab goal from the goalsquare - and was a constant presence all day.
"I was just happy to get it quickly and get it on the boot. It was good timing, so I was happy with that," McCarthy told Fox Footy post-match about his match-winning goal.
But unlike Freo's greatest forward Matthew Pavlich late in his career, McCarthy didn't play as that dominant permanent forward many think he is.
While he did spend a lot of time in the forward arc, he worked superbly in tandem with fellow midfielders Nat Fyfe (1.1), David Mundy (3.0) and Lachie Neale (4.1), with the three star Fremantle midfielders all resting forward at different stages and making significant contributions on the scoreboard.
Having the three star midfielders rest forward allowed McCarthy to work hard up the ground - one of his biggest strengths. He finished with 20 disposals, eight inside 50s and game-high 534m gained to go with his two majors, giving Melbourne's defence a massive heachache throughout the game.
"I've loved the fact that they've been doing that," dual premiership Cat Cameron Mooney told Fox Footy.
"It has allowed McCarthy to roam and allowed him to use his strength, which is his running, and not being anchored down to the goalsquare where he can't get into the game."
Fellow Fox Footy commentator Gerard Healy said he was a big fan of McCarthy and the role he played.
"I like that type of forward. He's big enough to take those contested marks but he's also such a mobile player who's got a pretty good tank. He's going to get even better," Healy said.