14/04/2024

The Dockers trained at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday. Photo: Fremantle FC

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir has dismissed the travel issues associated with the changing fixture, but admitted no WAFL competition would be a problem for the likes of Hayden Young and Ethan Hughes, who are back from injury this week.

Fremantle has carried a squad of 35 over from Perth, arriving in Melbourne on Tuesday night and received their negative Covid test results on Wednesday.

Coach Justin Longmuir dismissed the travel issues associated with the changing fixture, but admitted no WAFL would be a problem for the likes of Hayden Young and Ethan Hughes, who are back from their respective injuries this week.

“We’ll just play wherever we get told the game is going to be,” Longmuir iterated.

“[I] don’t have a preference [where the game is played] at all.

“Obviously with every club now in Melbourne, grounds are tight. There’s still a lot in the air, but one thing I do know is we’ll be playing Carlton this weekend.

“That’s probably the trickiest thing – no state league footy in WA this week when they were both due to come back.

“We’ll just have to try and best prepare them to play by training and making sure we – as coaches – make good training drills that best allow them to bridge the gap between rehab and AFL.

“Both are pretty important players to us and we’d love them back in the team.”

Young and Hughes flew over to Melbourne with the team and took part in full training at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. With no state league football, however, they look set to miss out on playing this weekend.

Two-time Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe is another to return from injury this week, and Longmuir is confident he will be right to play after being a late withdrawal last week with his shoulder concern.

If he does get up, Longmuir confirmed that he’d be played in the midfield with his usual loads.

“It’s improving day by day. His strength has come up from last week, so we’re a lot more confident. He should do the whole session.

“We think we’ll play him around the midfield. That’s his best position, he’s one of the best inside mids in the comp. He’ll spend his time forward but his role prior to going out of the team was probably 80 [per cent midfield time and] 20 [per cent forward] so we’ll continue to look at that.”

More AFL News

Francis extends personal leave as Rutten ponders key defender issues

AFL Team of the Week: Round 15

AFL confirms fixture changes, Queensland and Western Australian clubs head to Victoria

The midfield has performed well without their superstar captain, being led by the ever-green David Mundy and young gun Andy Brayshaw.

The Blues got the better of them in the middle of the park last time they met, but Longmuir is unlikely to use Caleb Serong as a tagger on the prolific Sam Walsh.

“We’ll look at it,” Longmuir said.

“Last time we played Carlton their midfield as a group got the better of us. They dominated us through a lot of areas in the midfield battle and we need to make sure Cripps doesn’t get ahold of us, Curnow doesn’t get ahold of us and obviously Walsh is in really good form, so I think it’s a collective.”

Fremantle is set to remain in Melbourne for the next week-and-a-half regardless of Western Australia’s lockdown situation.

“Travelling back and forth three times in a row just takes the sting out of the legs, it doesn’t allow you to recover. So we’ll stay here until post Hawthorn.”

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author

Leave a Reply