Four in for Freo
Fremantle has included Jack Anthony and Jonathon Griffin in its squad for Sunday’s Carlton Mid Derby against West Coast at Patersons Stadium.
Experienced tagger Ryan Crowley and young midfielder Jesse Crichton were the other inclusions.
Hayden Ballantyne was named and will undergo a fitness test on Saturday to prove he has recovered from a minor hamstring problem.
Second-year defender Dylan Roberton is the only player to be omitted so far. Three more players will be cut when Freo submits its final 22 on Friday afternoon.
Anthony and Griffin played for Collingwood and Adelaide respectively before joining Freo at the end of the 2010 season.
Both players have been playing WAFL in 2011, Anthony at Subiaco and Griffin at East Fremantle, and would make their Fremantle debuts if selected.
Experienced tagger Crowley had played every game this season but was omitted for the game against Richmond last Saturday, while second-year player Crichton made his one and only 2011 appearance in round 5 against the Western Bulldogs.
Mark Harvey is yet to lose in seven Derbies since taking over as Freo’s senior coach in round 16, 2007.
But Harvey said the Eagles were playing well this season and would enter the Carlton Mid Derby in good shape.
“Effectively, they’ve only got two or three injuries and the rest of their list is healthy and they’re in really good form,” he said.
Fremantle went down to the Tigers at the MCG last Saturday, while the Eagles were defeated by Essendon at Etihad Stadium the following day.
Harvey said that meant both sides would be coming off similar preparations heading into the Derby.
“We both had our issues on the weekend,” he said.
“They (West Coast) came off an 11-day break and then played the Bombers, and we came off a break ourselves.
“So both teams should be fresh and have plenty of energy. That’ll bring the game to another level.
“We’ve had eight days, they’ve had seven days, effectively.”
The Freo coach started the mind games at the Carlton Mid Derby media conference held at the Woodside building in Perth this morning.
He let Eagles’ coach John Worsfold know how gun Freo youngster Stephen Hill has been preparing for Sunday’s match.
“Stephen Hill’s got an unusual pre-match that he’s going through – he’s got Scott Selwood’s photo next to his bed and he’s just been looking at it all week,” a playful Harvey said in reference to the expected hard tag Selwood will apply on Hill.
Harvey didn’t stop there, making mention of West Coast’s ruck tactic to play both Dean Cox and Nic Natainui against Aaron Sandilands at the centre bounces.
“I often wonder which one is the ruckman around those contests – there’s two of them,” he said.
“Aaron will have to have eyes in the side of his head.”
But Harvey said his champion ruckman was up for whatever the Eagles threw at him on Sunday.
“I think he looks forward to it,” Harvey said.
“The bigger the challenge, the better. He’s got to that level with his playing performance. His form last week was terrific.
“I think he likes playing against Cox, and obviously Naitanui is the young one, the up-and-comer.
“He likes to put them back in their box.”