Fremantle tagging revelation Adam McPhee likely to play on Gary Ablett
Fremantle stopper Adam McPhee could be handed football’s biggest job with a tagging role on Geelong superstar Gary Ablett looming in Friday night’s semi-final.
A Dockers’ win at the MCG could end Ablett’s career at Geelong, with the Brownlow medallist weighing up whether to accept a massive offer from the Gold Coast.
McPhee played a starring role in Fremantle’s 30-point win over Hawthorn yesterday, holding Hawks playmaker Luke Hodge to 13 possessions, with just five coming until three-quarter-time when the Dockers led by seven goals.
The 27-year-old former Essendon defender, who was lured back to his inaugural club last summer on a three-year deal, thanked coach Mark Harvey for his faith in his ability after a roller-coaster season.
“I’d like to thank Mark Harvey and the coaching staff and the other players. They’ve really stuck by me and it was great to be able to do that today and have a win,” McPhee said. “They’re a great side, Hawthorn, and we knew they were always going to keep coming at us. I’m really proud of the boys and it’s great to be part of it.”
The McPhee-Hodge match-up was one of several crucial battles that went in the Dockers’ favour, with defender Luke McPharlin having the better of Lance Franklin and Ryan Crowley doing well on Clinton Young in his first game back from a knee injury.
McPharlin and Franklin had an absorbing battle in the first half as the Hawks pumped the ball forward 29 times, with plenty of niggle between the pair.
Franklin had his moments, including landing a raking bomb from outside the 50m arc in the second term, but was held to two goals from his 13 disposals and six uncontested marks.