Emerging key forward Josh Treacy will travel to Melbourne, despite missing selection in their playing 23.
Despite being available after serving his suspension for striking in Peel’s preseason clash against Perth, Fremantle will still withhold his debut.
“He’ll travel with us, he’s ineligible for the WAFL, so he’ll travel with us and get the experience of travelling. If something happens away, he might come in but at this stage, he will just travel with us.” Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir told The Inner Sanctum.
“He probably just missed out due to timing in some sense.
“It probably more of just a balance thing and he’ll just have to string games together and earn a spot.
“We just want to settle our team down and reward performances and I thought it was a pretty good performance by most players last week.”
The selection committee took balance within the forward line and his teammates’ form into consideration – including ruckman Sean Darcy who had six marks, 19 disposals and 10 score assists last week against the Giants.
“I thought our forward line functioned really well.” he said.
“We’re always trying to strike that balance between how our forward line in particular attacks the defence”
“Sean [Darcy] gave a really good contest forward of the ball last week and his ruck work inside 50 in particular was first class.”
Along with Treacy, Tobe Watson and Liam Henry will travel as emergencies Freo’s in the 25-man squad this week.
Replacing the concussed two-time Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe is dynamic forward Michael Walters. Fyfe is currently serving his 12 day wait on the sidelines after receiving a nasty bump from GWS’ Sam Reid. Longmuir is confident injury is no concern for Walters and he’ll have no trouble shaking off the rust.
“He’s ready. He got through training. He’s had a good couple of weeks of training under his belt and he’s itching to get out there and contribute,” he said.
“He’s trained really well and at a high intensity and done everything right.
“I think he’s a player that can come in and, with his experience and game sense and skill, can have an impact straight away.”
Longmuir reports the sidelined skipper is “in good spirits” and is working with the medical staff to tick the boxes.
“Signs are good so far,” he said.
“It’s really symptoms and protocol based. If he doesn’t tick every box, we’ll give him another week or another two weeks. That’s the way these things work.
“He’ll work closely with the doctors and be really honest with how he’s feeling, and the doctors will say if he’s in or out.
“He’s really positive at this stage. We’ll just see how it plays out over the next week.”
Ahead of Sunday’s clash, Fremantle are not underestimating Carlton and have been preparing for their best.
“Some of the criticism has been a little bit unfair on them to be honest,” Longmuir said.
“Collingwood and Richmond are two pretty good sides and they’ve pushed them [Carlton] all the way so they’re not far off.
“We’ve got to prepare for them at their best and their best is very good.”