Peter Ladhams

Will Peter Ladhams have a say in keeping Sydney in the finals hunt? (Picture sydneyswans.com.au)

Ahead of a must-win game against Fremantle, the Sydney Swans face a dilemma regarding their ruckmen with Peter Ladhams returning from injury.

Despite the win against the Western Bulldogs last Thursday night, Tim English dominated in the ruck battle and amassed 60 hitouts, with the Swans not wanting a repeat against the Dockers.

Coach John Longmire stopped short of confirming a recall for either Ladhams or Tom Hickey, who both played in the VFL on the weekend.

“We understand, particularly in our clearance numbers [which] were right down, and it was a bit of a challenge for us to get ground position, so we need to get better at that,” he said.

“[Tim] English had a fantastic game.

“It was Peter Ladhams’ first game back from a significant time out with injury, so he’s just getting going with his ankle. He’s missed a lot of footy this year, so we’ll have to see how he pulls up and how he gets through his rehab this week.

“Tom’s another option, so what that does is, ironically we’ve got a few talls available compared to the start of the year where we had no one available, so it’s flipped a little bit now.

“We’ve got some talls available, so with Joel [Amartey] and Lance [Franklin] and obviously Hayden [McLean] and Logan [McDonald], what that looks like in a team balance sense we’ll have to make that decision.”

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A return to September for Sydney remains on the table for now when it heads to Perth to face Fremantle, another team fighting for a finals berth.

The two sides played earlier this year with the Dockers securing the four points, leaving Longmire well aware of the challenge his Swans face.

“It’s a big challenge going over there,” he said.

“They do have two quality ruckmen, once again, that’ll challenge us, and we’ll need to respond to that.

“They’ve got some very good players [and] on their home deck, they’ll fight for everything. It’s a tough game, we look forward to it.

“We’ve just got to keep working on our consistency, it was terrific on the weekend, we were able to come back and get our noses in front when it mattered most, so that’s a good sign to keep improving that part of our game as well.”

The Swans face off against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday Night.

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