Fremantle seeks redemption
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says Sunday’s high-stakes Western Derby will be about redemption for his side after a final-quarter capitulation against Richmond in round seven.
Harvey promised to make changes at the selection table after his side went down to Richmond by 49 points, and he included four players in an expanded 25-man squad.
Former Collingwood forward Jack Anthony, ruck recruit Jon Griffin, defensive forward Ryan Crowley and young midfielder Jesse Crichton have all been included, with Dylan Roberton the only player omitted at this stage.
Goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne, who suffered a minor hamstring injury against the Tigers, has been named but will have to pass a fitness test on Saturday.
The coach rated the livewire forward a 60 per cent chance of playing, but said change was needed in a misfiring forward line that has kicked 78.94 for the season.
“We’ll be looking unpredictable,” Harvey said at a joint press conference with West Coast coach John Worsfold on Thursday.
“If Hayden doesn’t play, effectively it’s hard for us to replace that type of player, so we’ve got to get the balance right.
“It’s functioning OK, the forward line, but we need to probably look at changing it … our accuracy’s not there.”
Anthony, who was recruited with pick No.6 in the 2011 NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft, could play his first game for Fremantle.
The 23-year-old booted four goals for Subiaco in his last WAFL match and has lifted his accuracy in recent weeks, kicking 15 goals for the season.
Harvey said fixing his team’s goalkicking woes had been a focus on the track all season.
“It’s about putting them in the scenario as much as you can at training and having repetitious volume of it,” he said.
“But ultimately it’s the confidence of doing it the first time or the second time and then moving on from there.
“It’s amazing what happens when players kick a goal early, even their mindset can change.
“Every team has their moments kicking for goal, but as we know you don’t want to make a habit of it, because it will cost you games.”
Fremantle kicked 2.8 in the first quarter against Richmond and fell away drastically in the last term, conceding six goals to one.
However, Harvey said the 49-point loss had not dented his side’s confidence.
“Good teams overcome a poor quarter, so we review the game and move on quickly,” he said. “If we dwell on the negativity that can effect the psyche of the side.
“This is the game probably we needed after the last quarter.
“When our players play in front of a West Coast crowd they like to perform.”
Harvey is undefeated as coach in derbies, with Fremantle winning the past seven clashes between the sides.
He said a loss against the cross-town rival would not sit well with him or his players.
“That’s where our team’s got a lot better; when they get beaten they just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
“We’re pretty keen to continue on what we’ve been doing, particularly in this game.”