Dockers set their sights on WA son
FREMANTLE'S Matt de Boer hasn't given up hope Jaeger O'Meara will one day return to West Australia and play for the Dockers.
De Boer remembers the kid from Dongara, north of Perth, coming down to train with Freo as a 16-year-old - well before he was drafted by Gold Coast and became a Rising Star award winner.
"We obviously saw glimpses (of his talent) and we would have happily had him wearing purple ... and we still might in the future," De Boer (pictured) told APN this week, tongue slightly in cheek.
"He was a really impressive young man. A supreme talent, but had a really good head on his shoulders and was willing to work and ask questions as well of senior players.
"I'm happy to see him progress ... but not so much this week, hopefully he has a tough week."
The Dockers won't lay out the welcome mat when they host O'Meara, who is contracted to the Suns until 2016, and the rest of the Suns squad at Patersons Stadium tonight.
As one of coach Ross Lyon's attack dogs, De Boer may even be assigned the job of curbing O'Meara, while No.1 tagger Ryan Crowley gets reacquainted with Suns skipper Gary Ablett.
De Boer, 24, has developed into one of the game's hardest-working defensive midfielders, finishing top five in tackles last year with an average of 5.8 a game. He gathered a team-high 10 as Freo beat Collingwood by 70 points in round one.
The visitors are coming off a good win over Richmond, and are set to unveil another midfield star-in-the-making, Kade Kolodjashnij, who comes in for Jack Martin (shoulder).
The Dockers at home though present the toughest challenge in the AFL, especially after losing last year's premiership-decider to Hawthorn.
"What you can really tell with the group is that we've really matured since then and we're just really looking forward to attacking each week as if it is a grand final," De Boer said.
De Boer said despite holding the Magpies to just five goals and kicking 17 themselves, Lyon, the consummate professional, was still not totally satisfied. "Ross doesn't miss much, there's always a few focuses out of the game," he said. "Our start wasn't good enough ... and our ball movement."