Grieving Dockers players rocked by McCarthy's death

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has revealed some players were in doubt to feature in Friday night's 48-point AFL loss to Sydney following the sudden death of former Docker Cam McCarthy.

McCarthy died at the age of 29 on Thursday night, with Fremantle players left rocked when the news broke on Friday morning.

A tribute to McCarthy was held before Friday night's match, with veterans such as Nat Fyfe, Luke Ryan and Alex Pearce fighting back tears as they remembered their good friend.

After the match, Fyfe and Pearce laid down flowers in the goalsquare to commemorate McCarthy, who played 49 games for the Dockers between 2017-2020 after starting his career at GWS.

In the hours leading up to the match, Fremantle made a change to their emergencies list by adding key defender Hugh Davies as defensive cover.

Davies wasn't required in the end, but Longmuir revealed the move to add him to the emergency list was made due to the prospect of players pulling out of the match in the wake of McCarthy's death.

"We had players that were very close not playing, so I'm proud of the way they went out and competed in difficult circumstances," Longmuir said after the 13.9 (87) to 4.15 (39) loss.

"Some of our players have known Cam for a long period of time and continued those relationships post him playing for us.

"(Football boss) Joe Brierty did a great job getting around those who we knew were close to Cam, visiting those guys and making sure that they felt safe to make a call whether they wanted to play or not.

"I'm really proud of the way the club came together, put our arms around those who are hurting and I was really proud of those players for going out there and competing the way they did."

Longmuir said it was important for the player group to remain united and connected while they mourn McCarthy's passing.

"We need to make sure we do things together," Longmuir said.

"Make sure we keep checking in on each other, make sure that the players that are affected have got the multiple avenues that they feel comfortable with and can go to.

"This is why you play team sports ... so you can go through the tough times together and you've got people to lean on, and that's what trademark and connection is all about.

"So we need to stand true in these difficult moments."

Friday night's loss left Fremantle with a 5-4 record heading into next week's clash with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.

Longmuir expects ruckman Sean Darcy (tight calf) to return against the Saints.

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