Fremantle must pass road test
Fremantle defender Antoni Grover has challenged his teammates to rediscover their winning edge on the road after three consecutive defeats away from Subiaco Oval left the side out of touch with the top four.
Mark Harvey’s side remains two games clear in fifth spot, despite Saturday’s 54-point loss to North Melbourne, but it has lost four of its last five games on the road.
Fremantle can virtually confirm a home final if it beats the Sydney Swans at Subiaco Oval on Saturday, but Grover said the club did not want to bank on home wins in the run to its first finals appearance since 2006.
“We want to win this week, it’s very important, but we don’t want to be a team that just relies on our home victories – we want to win everywhere,” he said from Fremantle Oval on Monday.
“We won games over east early in the season [so] it’s disappointing not to win these games, but I don’t think it has a long-term affect on you.
“We just want to win every game and where we end up is where we end up. The opportunity to play finals would be good, but we just want to focus on this week.”
Grover forecast big roles for Fremantle’s backline this week with Chris Tarrant still sidelined and the Swans coming off a 44-point win over Hawthorn and their biggest score of the season: 19.15 (129).
Fremantle’s back six has struggled for stability this season, with Luke McPharlin and Greg Broughton recently returning to the side just as Tarrant was injured.
Grover, who put his hand up to play on in-form Swan Adam Goodes if the dual Brownlow Medallist plays forward on Saturday, said the backline had to lift to cover Tarrant’s absence.
“No doubt, we’ve got big roles to play,” he said. “I’m happy to play on whoever they give me really.
“You want to play on all of the great players in the competition and he (Goodes) has been a sensational player. I’ve got him in my Dream Team, so I’ve been watching him pretty closely.”
Grover, 30, is the oldest player on Fremantle’s list following Dean Solomon’s retirement and the veteran is out of contract at the end of this season.
He has played nine games this year after suffering a medial ligament injury against North Melbourne in the NAB Cup and said he wants to push into a 13th AFL campaign.
“I love football, I love the competitive nature of it, and I’d probably play down at the local amateurs with my mates if not [at Fremantle],” he said.