Just two Fremantle players were involved in round 22 of the state competition, with a host of WAFL regulars sent to Tasmania to take on Hawthorn last Saturday.

Nonetheless, the form of Des Headland and Chris Mayne attracted great interest as the important forwards worked their way back from injury and into senior contention.

Headland hasn’t played at AFL level since injuring a knee in round four, but the 29-year-old has now completed three WAFL league games and half a reserves match on the comeback trail.

Senior development coach Simon Lloyd said Headland had followed a detailed rehabilitation plan to now find himself in contention for Friday night’s clash with Carlton.

“His game time’s increased each week and he played considerable game time this week and pulled up really well,” Lloyd said.

“He’s getting through training well, and he now comes into the mix, which is great.”

Mayne played his last AFL game against Adelaide in round 11, with an ankle injury keeping the feisty forward sidelined through the second half of the season.

Lloyd said the prospect of bringing in a player who has missed 10 AFL games wasn’t a concern and Mayne would still be familiar with how Fremantle plays.

“I think ‘Mayney’ knows our structures better than most players in our squad,” he said. “He has a complete handle on how we play and he helps organise how we play.”

Ahead of this week’s fixtures, Lloyd shared his WAFL notes with fremantlefc.com.au.

East Perth 17.7 (109) d Subiaco 13.18 (96)
Des Headland

Des spent large amounts of time onball and also played forward. He finished the game with 24 touches in what was probably his best game since he’s returned. Something good happened when he had the ball and he was able to win contested possessions in stoppage situations. He showed a good turn of pace and finished the game really well. It was a consistent four-quarter effort.

Swan Districts 25.16 (166) d Perth 16.8 (104)
Chris Mayne

Chris started at half-forward and had a 10-minute period in the midfield each quarter. Chris only knows one way and he played with great intensity. He chased hard at every opportunity and showed strong leadership as well, setting up a lot of Perth’s structures. In centre bounces he played on Josh Roberts and stopped his influence, using his body really well. His use of the ball was good and he created some shots on goal.

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