Nat Fyfe says Fremantle players' understanding of new coach Justin Longmuir's game plan has regressed as a result of the two-month AFL shutdown.
The Dockers are embarking on a new era following last year's axing of Ross Lyon, who coached them for eight seasons and took the club to its one and only grand final appearance in 2013.
A Dockers favourite during 139 games between 1999 and 2007, Longmuir has been thrust into his first coaching job during a once-in-a-century pandemic.
"It's been a baptism of fire for 'JL' (Longmuir) having to come in implementing a game plan and play one game, then press park for eight weeks," Fremantle captain Fyfe told Fox Footy.
"We've probably regressed slightly with our understanding of the game plan and implementation of that.
"But what we have been able to do is get to know each other a little bit more in a different way.
"We'll look to use these next four weeks to bud that connection ad well as build our game plan knowledge an get to know JL's language."
Fremantle will soon fly to Queensland to base themselves on the Gold Coast for at least the first four rounds of the AFL season restart.
The dual Brownlow medallist says every Dockers player will travel across to the east coast, even those injured and in the rehab group.
But family members are unlikely to join the team if the Dockers' stay in south-east Queensland extends past round five.
"It looks like for the first four weeks, we're going to keep it pretty businesslike, mostly just the players and coaches," Fyfe said.
Fremantle will take on Brisbane at the Gabba on June 13 as they aim to make up for a round one loss to Essendon in March.
Australian Associated Press