The way he came to the club was not good. A heartless Rosich in a duplicitous stroke dispatched the hardworking and likeable Mark Harvey in a move no AFL journalist saw coming, much to their chagrin. So there will be no kudos to him in this article.
However Lyon has proved to be what was needed for the club. Harvey brought in some good players and young players. But he failed to maximise the talent of the list at his disposal. Even with a year choked by injuries, Lyon has seen things Harvey failed to. Clancy Pearce, Ryan Crowley and Michael Johnson had breakout years. Matthew Pavlich is playing in the best form of his career, and the discipline and structure of the team is breathtaking. Players understand and believe in their role. As a observer of many years, I have never been more confident in the team. This does not mean I think they will win every game, but after the disappointment of the first derby against West Coast, Fremantle have not looked back.
The elimination final against Geelong, where they systematically took apart last years Premiers was indeed the best structured game they have ever played. Missing their best defender, in Luke McPharlin, they defended as one unit, including incredible forward pressure from the forwards.
Whatever happens this week against the Crows is perhaps irrelevant. While I would love them to win, and then storm past Hawthorn in the preliminary final, statistics and good sense say that this wont be our year.
But the team Lyon has moulded, and will continue to mould, is looking better than St Kilda of previous years, who made it to two Grand Finals. And that is saying something.