Older heads needed
FREMANTLE coach Mark Harvey says his side is carrying too many young players and will require an injection of experience ahead of Sunday’s western derby clash with West Coast.
Star defender Chris Tarrant and key midfielder David Mundy will both return for the 32nd western derby, while back-up ruckman Kepler Bradley is rated an 80 per cent chance to play by the coach.
Midfielder Rhys Palmer, who injured a shoulder in last Sunday’s 82-point loss to the Western Bulldogs, is in doubt and will be assessed at Thursday night’s training session.
Harvey said the heavy loss to the Dogs would be taken into account at selection, as would the 11 first- or second-year players that are currently in the side.
“Right at this very moment – and probably West Coast are going through the same thing – we’ve got probably too many first- or second-year players in our side,” Harvey said from Subiaco Oval on Thursday.
“You’ve certainly got to take into the consideration the performance or the lack of performance and whether you need to make a change on that basis as well as balance and structure.
“We needed to put more pressure [on the Bulldogs] and we were incapable of doing that on the night. [But] we move on quickly, you have to win this game.”
As Fremantle searches for experience, four-time Ross Glendinning Medalist Paul Hasleby could prove valuable on the derby stage and Harvey said he was in line for selection after speculation the veteran was initially dropped last week.
Hasleby ended up playing against the Bulldogs as a late inclusion for Mundy.
“We manage players throughout the course of the season,” Harvey said. “Experience means a lot, particularly when you’ve got 11 first- or second-year players.
“We’re talking about the season and players being tired, but maybe we were managing Paul last week.
“He’s in line for selection – he’s fit enough.”
Harvey said the workloads of key players Aaron Sandilands and Matthew Pavlich were being properly managed amid speculation the pair were fatiguing as the season wore on.
“I’m not sure what the debate is, we know how we’re managing their loads during the week, no one else from the outside knows that”, he said.
“We know what we’re doing.”