Archive for June, 2011

Grover, Ballantyne back


Hayden Ballantyne and Antoni Grover are among four big ins for Fremantle’s clash with AFL new boys Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium on Saturday in what will be Matthew Pavlich’s 250th AFL game. 

As expected, Jon Griffin returns to replace ruck champ Aaron Sandilands, who is out with a reoccurrence of turf-toe, while mature-age recruit Tendai Mzungu has overcome a calf injury.

The other outs are Kepler Bradley, Clancee Pearce and Clayton Hinkley who have all been omitted.

Luke McPharlin stays in the side after recovering from a groin injury that he sustained in last week’s win over Brisbane, which was initially expected to sideline the star defender.

And with a bye to follow this match, Michael Barlow has been given one more week to recover after he pulled up sore in his comeback match in round 13.

Fremantle assistant coach Barry Mitchell said regaining the services of Ballantyne and Grover was a huge plus for the team.


Barlow unlikely


Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow is likely to miss Saturday’s clash with Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium, but the star says he is not carrying a fresh injury after making his comeback from injury two weeks ago.

Barlow, who extended his contract to the end of the 2014 season on Tuesday, was one of several Fremantle players on light duties at Wednesday’s training session.

Defender Alex Silvagni took no part, while key midfielders Nat Fyfe and Stephen Hill and forward Chris Mayne were restricted.

Barlow said he had pulled up sore after playing his first game for the season against Melbourne in round 13, 12 months after breaking his left leg, but he hoped to push for selection against the Suns.

“It was something to play through and push on with, but the medicos and sports science guys thought we’d look after me and see how we can manage me to get the best out of me for the rest of the season,” he said.


Sub rule a sore point at Dockers


Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich says it’s too early to link the reduction in interchange players to the club’s long injury list despite his coach Mark Harvey calling for a review of the rule.

The Dockers have been ravaged by injury all year and at the weekend lost ruckman Aaron Sandilands (toe) for four weeks, while Luke McPharlin (groin) could miss Saturday’s game against Gold Coast. Fremantle were heartened to learn that Sandilands, who signed a one-year contract extension to remain with the club until 2014, wouldn’t require surgery, but his absence against Sydney and West Coast will be significant.

Hayden Ballantyne, Anthony Morabito, Antoni Grover, Adam McPhee, David Mundy, Nick Suban, Michael Barlow, Jonathon Griffin, Jack Anthony and Tendai Mzungu were unavailable last week and small forward Michael Walters will miss eight weeks after damaging the posterior cruciate ligament in a knee in the WAFL, so the Dockers are limping through the season.


New Perth stadium by 2018


Major new stadium to be built on Burswood Peninsula

Premier Colin Barnett today announced Perth’s new multi-purpose stadium would be built on the Burswood Peninsula and is scheduled for completion in 2018.

The new Perth Stadium will have the third-biggest capacity in Australia and will be the second largest AFL home stadium.

It will have a capacity of 60,000 seats with provision for future expansion to 70,000 seats in the style of Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, with similar views, amenities and comfort.

This capacity range will more than adequately provide for both members and corporate seating and generous general admission and visiting team supporters.

“Burswood Peninsula is unconstrained by surrounding development and Government-owned, which will allow us to achieve the vision of a world-class stadium precinct,” Mr Barnett said.


Barlow recommits to Freo


Fremantle midfielder Michael Barlow has capped his return to football with a two-year contract extension, committing to the club until the end of the 2014 season.

Barlow joins captain Matthew Pavlich, reigning club champion David Mundy and influential ruckman Aaron Sandilands in signing on for the next three seasons, with Sandilands announcing his one-year extension on Monday.

The 23-year-old made his anticipated return to senior football against Melbourne in round 13, almost 12 months after suffering a horrific broken leg in round 14 last year.

General manager of player management Brad Lloyd said Fremantle had been monitoring Barlow’s recovery closely before announcing the contract extension on Tuesday.

“As soon as the all clear was given, we were keen to get a commitment from Michael and, similarly, for the club to confirm its commitment to
him,” Lloyd said.


Big relief


Star Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands will not require surgery on his injured left toe but will still be sidelined for up to four weeks after consulting with a specialist in Melbourne.

Sandilands re-aggravated his ‘turf toe’ condition against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night in his first game back after spending four weeks on the sidelines.

The three-time All Australian flew to Melbourne on Sunday to seek specialist advice, and the need for surgery was ruled out on Monday.

Sandilands will still be sidelined for the next four weeks, missing games against Gold Coast (Patersons Stadium), the Sydney Swans (SCG) and West Coast. Fremantle has a bye in round 16.

In more good news for Fremantle, the influential ruckman has extended his contract with the club until the end of the 2014 season, signing a one-year extension.

Captain Matthew Pavlich said the injury news was positive for Sandilands and the team following suggestions the star big man’s season could be over.

“It’s not great to have him out, but certainly positive news in that he’s only aggravated the toe injury,” Pavlich, who will play his 250th AFL game this Saturday, said.


Dockers defender Luke McPharlin to go forward on return from injury


Fremantle coach Mark Harvey will consider playing Luke McPharlin as a permanent forward when the key defender returns from a groin injury.

McPharlin has been in All-Australian form in defence this season, but is set to miss at least the next two weeks after suffering the injury in Saturday night’s 23-point win over Brisbane in Perth.

Fremantle has struggled to find a permanent key forward this season, with Kepler Bradley showing early promise before fading, Michael Johnson proving handy but far from lethal and skipper Matthew Pavlich needed more in the midfield.


How Morabito beat his injury blues


As Anthony Morabito emerges from the darkest days of his football life, he can still play over in his head his real-life drama on December 10 last year.

He knows it back to front. But he refuses to watch the sequel.

The Fremantle Docker, who every club would like to clone, had promised himself during the last pre-season to train with more intensity, so that’s what he was doing at Fremantle Oval on this cloudless Friday morning.

It was at the tail end of the training exercise where two players in the centre of a square put pressure on a teammate trying to kick the ball.

“I was the last person in the group to do the pressuring and I might have been trying to go a bit too hard but I heard a little pop in my knee after an innocuous movement,” Morabito, 19, recalled. “I was trying to stop Barra (David Mundy) from kicking when it happened.”


Freo’s turf toe woes


Fremantle is considering sending star ruckman Aaron Sandilands to Melbourne for surgery after he re-aggravated his turf toe condition in the side’s 23-point win over the Brisbane Lions at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

Coach Mark Harvey said the three-time All Australian would likely miss another month of football, while key defender Luke McPharlin is expected to miss two weeks with a groin injury.

The injuries soured an important win for Fremantle, which was set-up by a dominant five-goal game from captain Matthew Pavlich and included significant performances from defender Alex Silvagni and midfielder Rhys Palmer.

Sandilands, who was playing his first game back after a four-week lay-off, re-injured his toe early in the third quarter and didn’t return, while McPharlin, who has been in All Australian form, was subbed out of the game at half-time.

“Aaron’s re-injured the same injury, however we are going to look at perhaps sending him to Melbourne to see a surgeon,” Harvey said on Saturday night.


Fremantle Dockers looming as centre of offseason draft trades


Fremantle is looming as a central player in the most complicated trade and draft off-season ever, as Greater Western Sydney prepares for its AFL launch next season.

Dockers’ midfielder Rhys Palmer is understood to have already verbally agreed to join GWS on at least a four-year deal worth about $2million.

But the Palmer move is unlikely to assist the Dockers in their bid to capture 17-year-old future star Jaeger O’Meara.

O’Meara is one of several outstanding juniors whose birthday falls in the January-April 1994 window that allows them to join an AFL club one year early, as part of the Giants’ entry concessions.


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