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Fremantle AFLW coach philosophical about finals heartbreak

He said the pain of an opportunity denied would spur his team on in 2021.

“It’s still far from a wasted season.”

Cooper said the AFL hadn’t communicated to the club why the league had ruled out finishing the finals later in the year but suggested it would have been a huge logistical challenge.

“I’m sure there’s reasons, and I can probably guess the reasons why it can’t be played later on,” he said.

“Players have to go back home, that aren’t in our state, Irish girls, different things like that. I think a postponement would have made it really difficult to have similar teams.

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“We were fully supportive of the season stopping when it did.”

He also confirmed that the Dockers would have liked for the season to go straight to a grand final between them and conference A leaders North Melbourne but accepted that even that wouldn’t have been ideal.

“We would’ve liked to go to that [to a grand final]. Granted it would have been unfair on Carlton and Melbourne and Collingwood.

“We wanted a winner declared. They thought they had three weeks left, which we didn’t think was likely. It’s disappointing the way it turned out but at the end of the day there’s a lot bigger things going on.”

The Dockers had known heading into the weekend that there was a distinct possibility the season could be cancelled without a premiership.

“We were trying to get some information before the announcement was made [on Sunday]. But myself and a few of the players found out [of the AFL’s decision] through social media,” Cooper said.

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