De Boer set to return in a Purple Haze
Fremantle has made only one change to the team to take on Geelong in Saturday night’s Starlight Purple Haze Game at Patersons Stadium, with Matt de Boer named to return.
Youngster Jayden Pitt makes way for de Boer, whose intensity and tackling pressure will be a boost to Freo’s chances of knocking off the 2009 Premiers.
Pitt has been named as an emergency along with new recruits Jonathon Griffin and Jack Anthony.
Fremantle defeated Geelong at Patersons Stadium by seven points in Round 3 last season in one of the club’s greatest victories.
But the Cats had the last laugh when they ended Freo’s season in a Semi Final at the MCG – the Cats winning by 69 points.
The match also carries extra interest with Geelong’s new senior coach Chris Scott having been a Freo assistant under Mark Harvey for three years before getting the gig at Kardinia Park.
De Boer, who has been added to the Fremantle leadership group in 2011, said he couldn’t wait to get out on the field with his teammates again after a hamstring injury suffered in the pre-season prevented him from playing the season opener.
“It’s tough watching from the sidelines,” he said.
“It will be nice to be back out there and on such a big occasion with it being the Starlight Purple Haze Game.”
De Boer has yet to play in a Purple Haze Game, and considering he is Starlight Ambassador at Freo in 2011, the 21-year-old said it would be an honour to represent the club in such an important fixture.
“The Purple Haze Game is a tradition now at Fremantle,” he said. “To get to play in front of a sea of purple at our home ground on such an important occasion will be very special.”
Freo senior coach Mark Harvey said the match being the Starlight Purple Haze Game would make it a special day.
“It’s fantastic to raise money for the kids,” he said.
“It’s a great foundation (Starlight). We’ve been doing the Purple Haze Game for a number of years and we’ve raised upwards of $250,000. It’s a great occasion in many ways.”
The Fremantle coach said the side was under no illusions as to the danger this Geelong side, which has been a dominant AFL force for the past four years, still posed.
“They’ve still got 19 or 20 Premiership players available so it’s going to be a difficult game, we understand that,” he said. “But we did manage to beat them here last year.”
Harvey said he expected to see a fanatical crowd at Patersons Stadium to help his team get over the line.
“It’s good to see the sea of purple on any given day but particularly this week when we play Geelong,” he said.
“To see the fanaticism of our supporters will be great.”
Backs G.Broughton 6 A.Grover 14 M.Johnson 37
Half Backs R.Palmer 10 L.McPharlin 18 P.Duffield 41
Centreline N.Fyfe 7 N.Lower 34 D.Mundy 16
Half Forwards K.Bradley 26 M.Pavlich 29 S.Hill 32
Forwards H.Ballantyne 1 C.Mayne 23 J.van Berlo 47
Followers A.Sandilands 31 A.McPhee 9 N.Suban 8
Interchange D.Roberton 24 M.DeBoer 40 R.Crowley 15
Emergencies J.Pitt 4 J.Griffin 12 J.Anthony 22