Fremantle star Luke Jackson has sent an ominous warning to the rest of the competition after his three-goal haul on Saturday night.
The Dockers recruit may have started slowly for his new club, but he’s certainly found his feet in attack as he starred in the win over Essendon on Saturday night.
Jackson took three contested marks and had nine score involvements in his 17 disposals – 11 of which were contested – at Optus Stadium to go with his three goals.
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The WA junior says he’s happy to be back home and firing in Freo’s forward line – which was assisted by the return of big man Sean Darcy in the ruck.
“It was always going to take a few games to get to know the new team and game style,” he told foxfooty.com.au.
“I just want to keep learning off the great players here and coaches.
“I love it so much more when Sean is back.
“It makes the team so much better – it frees up guys like Jye (Amiss) and JT (Josh Treacy) as well so the dynamic’s a whole lot better when he’s there.
“I love (playing) forward just as much as around the ball. I love kicking goals.
“I just love launching at the ball – it all starts from being a little kid playing king of the pack. I just want to keep growing my game down there (in attack).
“It was good to get on the scoreboard again.
“I want to keep building with the boys and hopefully bank a few more wins.”
Jackson has played every game for Fremantle this season, with his goal tally now at 16 while he juggles his time in the middle.
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Coach Justin Longmuir praised Jackson’s impact in attack, while Fox Footy’s Eddie Betts described the 21-year-old as a “natural forward”.
“(Jackson) gives us a really strong target down there (in attack),” he said.
“He’s been really working on his forward craft. Couple of critical moments and he just presented at foot and took marks inside 50.
“When he doesn’t mark it, he gives our forwards a crack at ground level which has been a real strength of our game across the season our small forwards, so brings them into the game as well.”
Of Jackson’s three goals on Saturday night, one was a ripping drop punt from the pocket that had Longmuir laughing post-match.
“I don’t know whether he’s got a left around the body!” he chuckled.
“He was bragging on that shot on goal after the game!
“It was nice to see, we needed it.”
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At a time when some of the game’s most notable forwards are copping criticism for their around the body goal kicking style, Jackson said it wasn’t an option for him.
“I was never going around the body – always going the drop punt. Happy it went through,” he said.
Saturday night’s win keeps Fremantle’s finals hopes alive as they now sit on seven wins – only percentage outside the top eight.
“If we play like that and get our game style going, I think we can put it up to anyone,” Jackson said.
“We wanted to bounce back from a disappointing loss (to GWS).
“I reckon it was a must-win (against Essendon) – an important game to get our game style back on track. The season’s going fast so we need to win as many games as we can from here.”