Archive for May, 2011
Fremantle will have one less player available for selection this week after goalsneak Michael Walters accepted a one-game ban from the WAFL tribunal today.
Walters, who was playing for Swan Districts after recovering from an ankle injury, was handed the suspension for striking Claremont’s Ian Richardson during the weekend’s clash between the two sides.
Richardson was standing the mark as the Dockers forward slotted a goal for Swans, with Walters striking the Claremont player in the abdomen as he followed through from the kick.
The incident was not reported by the field umpires, but was looked at after State Umpire coach Darryl Sinclair lodged a notice of investigation.
Walters today accepted the ban and will not be available for either WAFL or AFL action this week.
Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow says he is glad he didn’t rush his 11-month recovery from a horrific broken leg as he prepares to play a half of football in the WAFL reserves this Saturday.
An excited Barlow has completed a “mini pre-season” in recent weeks and, after a full week of training, will make his long-awaited playing return with Peel Thunder.
The 23-year-old said he had received key advice from former Richmond and Western Bulldogs forward Nathan Brown, who urged him not to rush his recovery like he had.
Fremantle has never placed a timeline on Barlow’s recovery and the midfielder said he would approach his return “full steam ahead” rather than worrying about future complications.
“He (Brown) conceded that he probably rushed it a bit (and) ran into some issues further down the track,” Barlow said from Fremantle Oval on Monday.
Injury-ravaged Fremantle received some positive news on the player front with midfielder Rhys Palmer and forward Hayden Ballantyne cleared of incidents by the AFL match review panel today.
Palmer collected Brendon Goddard with a bump to the head early in the first quarter of last Saturday’s loss to St Kilda at Patersons Stadium.
But the AFL’s tribunal body decided Palmer didn’t have a case to answer and he can now be considered for Sunday’s battle with Hawthorn at the MCG.
“The panel received a medical report from St Kilda which stated that player Goddard did not require any medical assessment after the contact. Based on the available vision, it could not be determined if there was any forceful high contact to the head or neck region by player Palmer. No further action was taken,” declared the panel.
Ballatnyne won’t face scrutiny for an incident in which Saints forward Adam Schneider was knocked after he’d taken a mark last Sunday.
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has often lamented the over-reliance his team has had on its top few performers this season, and it’s an issue that came to a head in a horrible 46-point loss to St Kilda on Saturday.
Relying on too few has been a recurring theme at Fremantle this year, with David Mundy, Aaron Sandilands, Nat Fyfe and captain Matthew Pavlich routinely among the side’s best players.
On Saturday, Fremantle had to deal with the loss of the injured Sandilands, and, perhaps as a result, Mundy, Fyfe and Pavlich weren’t at their best.
Not enough players were capable of stepping in to fill the void and Fremantle put in a performance that Harvey said was as flat as he’d seen from his group.
“We need to be better than that,” the coach said on Saturday night. “If you rely on too few players, you are either going to finish mediocre or down the bottom of the ladder.”
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says his players were the flattest he’s seen them during a shocking 46-point loss to St Kilda at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.
Fremantle, which has now lost three of its last four matches, risks falling out of the top eight at the completion of round 10, having sat in the top four a month ago.
Harvey said his players were beaten physically by the resurgent Saints and didn’t follow instructions.
“We planned for everything that St Kilda do but unfortunately our players, for various reasons, didn’t follow instructions,” Harvey said on Saturday night.
“Firstly, we got beat physically I thought, whether it be hard ball or getting stripped or not being clean in close.
“Secondly, we got found out with some easy goals. They only took nine marks inside the forward 50 but I reckon they had four or five goals that were open running goals where they got us over the back.
Fremantle 0.3 1.5 4.10 7.14 (56)
St Kilda 4.4 8.8 12.9 15.12 (102)
Fremantle: Broughton 2, Bradley, Duffield, Hill, Palmer, Pavlich
St Kilda: Schneider 4, Peake 3, Jones 2, Montagna 2, Armitage, Milne, Siposs, Steven
Fremantle: McPharlin, Grover, Broughton, Griffin
St Kilda: Dal Santo, Montagna, Steven, Fisher, Schneider, Jones, Gilbert
St Kilda: Goddard (neck), Dempster (head), Blake (knee), Lynch (finger)
Fremantle: Dylan Roberton replaced Jay van Berlo in the third quarter
St Kilda: Nicholas Winmar replaced Brendon Goddard at quarter time
Reports: Brett Peake (St Kilda) for striking Dylan Roberton (Fremantle) in the third quarter
Umpires: Margetts, Jeffery, Mollison
Official crowd: 35,483 at Patersons Stadium
Peel were saddened but not surprised when youngster Viv Michie was ruled out of action for the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot.
Michie had been complaining to Thunder officials about a sore foot for several weeks and was struggling to run out games as the pain increased after half-time.
Michie’s stats paint a clear picture of a player battling to maintain his impact late in games though, as a teenager in his first season of senior footy, that is hardly unusual.
The Oakleigh junior, who was taken at No.44 in last year’s draft, had 14 possessions in the first half against West Perth before adding just three in the second, 12 against Swans including seven in the first half, a brilliant 16 in the first half against East Fremantle before getting just five more and 12 in the first half against East Perth before fading to finish with 18 for the match.
While Peel were aware that Michie was unhappy with his foot injury, the Dockers were unable to find a cause of the pain and cleared him to continue playing.
He will now have his foot in a cast for up to two months in a bid to allow the fracture to heal.
But navicular fractures are notoriously difficult to cure and many athletes – including former Essendon champion James Hird – needed to have a screw inserted into the bone at the top of the foot before they overcame the setback.
In the 25 years since West Coast’s arrival dramatically changed the landscape of West Australian football, it is unlikely that a local AFL-listed player has produced a more dire WAFL performance than Jack Anthony’s most recent effort.
The Fremantle forward, who was allocated to Subiaco after being recruited from Collingwood, managed just one handball in the surprise loss to Peel at Medibank Stadium on Saturday.
The single stat came in the first quarter when the Lions and Thunder were closely matched before the visitors ran away for their first win of the season.
Anthony played deep in the forward line in the first half before being switched onto Peel forward Ryan Herring in the second where his insipid body language revealed a player horribly short of confidence.
Jonathon Griffin has some big shoes to fill after being selected to make his Fremantle debut as Aaron Sandilands ruck replacement for Saturday’s clash with St Kilda at Patersons Stadium.
That’s the only change to the Freo team that downed Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium last Saturday.
Sandilands is expected to miss a month with a toe injury he sustained in that match.
Jack Anthony and Jay van Berlo are emergencies, along with Freo’s other ruck option Zac Clarke.
Fremantle has a 0-5 record without Sandilands since 2008, but senior coach Mark Harvey said he believed the side was now more prepared than ever to play without the three-time All-Australian in the line-up.
“I think the team is,” he said.
“Individually, Aaron’s probably got better over the last couple of years but I think the team’s more equipped.”
As ruckman Aaron Sandilands succumbed to injury this week, his young protégé, Zac Clarke, delivered a timely reminder that the future is in good hands.
Clarke, who is in his third season at Fremantle, played one of the best games of his short career for East Perth, finishing with 26 possessions and two goals in the Royals’ 69-point win.
“It was a very encouraging game with regards to his attack on the contest in the air and at ground level, and his ball use by foot,” assistant coach Simon Lloyd said.
“From a development perspective, it was one of Zac’s better games.
“His greatest strength is his athleticism and being used around the ground, so it was great to see that utilised.
“Some of his contested marks were really quite imposing as well.”
Clarke shouldered the majority of the ruck work for East Perth, with regular ruckman Zac Beeck injured, and Lloyd said he relished being the No.1 man.