Fremantle will have less than a week to recover from their round 21 clash with Hawthorn in Launceston after the AFL confirmed the Dockers would play Carlton on Friday night in the last round of the season.

The Dockers should be in contention for a top-four spot by the time they play the Hawks on August 21 at Aurora Stadium, which is a Saturday game.

They will then have a short week on the training track to prepare for Carlton at Subiaco Oval the following Friday night.

The AFL said the Dockers-Carlton clash should be fixtured on Friday night in round 22 “to enable Carlton to return to Melbourne as early as possible”.

“It is our view that Fremantle v Carlton will be an outstanding game to play on Friday night, as both sides contest finals’ positions,” AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan said.

“As per recent years, the AFL scheduled five games for Saturday, so that the majority of games can be completed by Saturday night, and enable us to consider the widest possible options for scheduling for week one of the finals.”

Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich said the AFL’s decision was “not ideal”, as the club was hoping to stage the fixture on the Saturday night because of the game in Tasmania a week earlier.

The AFL’s decision followed several weeks of discussions between Fremantle and senior league officials.

“We had been endeavouring to the get the round 22 match scheduled for Saturday evening in preference to the Friday night,” he said.

“This was on the basis that we are playing our round 21 game in Tasmania on the previous Saturday.

“The schedule is not ideal from a recovery point of view but it does provide an opportunity to showcase the Fremantle Football Club on a Friday night on what could shape as an important game for ladder positions.”

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