Archive for August, 2011

Injury-hit Dockers ask for rookie help


Fremantle will seek special permission from the AFL to upgrade more rookies to the senior list after being hit with yet another spate of injuries.

The Dockers will be forced to make at least four changes for Saturday’s match with Western Bulldogs at Docklands, with midfielder Nat Fyfe (shoulder), Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder), Peter Faulks (broken jaw) and Nick Lower (suspended) all unavailable.

Defenders Antoni Grover and Alex Silvagni are expected to return from injury, but Dockers coach Mark Harvey is struggling to find the further two players needed to make up a 22-man squad.


Freo sound out Bell as an assistant


Fremantle will approach former captain Peter Bell in an attempt to lure him back to the club as an assistant coach.

Bell hasn’t been part of an AFL club since retiring in 2008. He played in South Fremantle’s 2009 premiership and is now working in the media and pursuing business interests.

The 35-year-old played 163 games for the Dockers, including 107 as captain, and won three best and fairests. Coach Mark Harvey said the club was keen to talk to Bell about his coaching aspirations.

“I think Peter has got coaching aspirations down the track,” Harvey told Seven News. “He’s been out of the game for a couple of years now. In the coming weeks we’ll sit down and talk to Peter.”

Harvey refused to comment about speculation that assistant coach Barry Mitchell would leave the club. Mitchell has worked for Hawthorn and Carlton previously and his son Tom will join Sydney under the father-son rule next season.


Roger Hayden retires


The recurrence of a long-term foot injury that requires surgery has forced Roger Hayden to call an end to his 128-game career with the Fremantle Dockers.

The 30-year-old advised the playing group of his decision before training today at Patersons Stadium.

Recruited from South Fremantle, Hayden was picked up in the 2001 Rookie Draft (No. 21) and elevated to the senior list in 2002, making his debut in round 15 that year.

After playing all but one game in 2010, the club has missed Hayden’s customary sweeping role across half-back for much of 2011. Following surgery on his injured foot late last year, he has managed to play only three games this season.

The father of two played his last game in round 17 against Sydney at the SCG, when he broke the fibula in his right leg during Freo’s 11 point win over the Swans.

Hayden said today that, in the end, the battles with his body had forced him to call an end to his AFL career.


Freo looks to trade week


Fremantle coach Mark Harvey believes the club’s best method of advancing its list at the end of this season could be through trade week, as it prepares for a detailed review following Saturday’s clash with the Western Bulldogs.

With this year’s NAB AFL Draft compromised by Greater Western Sydney’s concessions, Harvey said it would be difficult for Fremantle to overhaul its list with new talent, similar to the approach it took at the end of 2008.

There is also a perception that 2012 presents Fremantle’s best chance of achieving success, with captain Matthew Pavlich and key defender Luke McPharlin starting next year aged 30, and star ruckman Aaron Sandilands turning 29 this December.

Harvey said earlier this week that the club would be fearless at the trade table in October, and he reiterated that position on Wednesday, saying there was a distinct possibility that trading would be a “more strategic” approach for his club than drafting.


‘Fearless at trade table’


Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says his club will be fearless at the trade table this year as it looks to rebound from a disappointing season, refusing to rule out a potential move to recruit sacked Brisbane Lions’ forward Brendan Fevola.

Harvey said Fremantle had held no discussions about handing Fevola an unlikely AFL lifeline, but the coach noted that his recent performances would have caught the eye of AFL clubs.

Fevola kicked 10 goals for VFL club Casey Scorpions at the weekend, including four against Carlton stopper Michael Jamison, taking his tally in the last six matches to 43.

“It’s an interesting choice, isn’t it? He’s playing quite well,” Harvey told 6PR.

“I see on the weekend he played really well against Jamison for a half.

“I guess that’ll open the eyes up of some of the AFL clubs, but we’ve had no discussion about Brendan at this stage.”


Bucovaz, Dockers wait on WAFL tribunal


Ben Bucovaz will appear before the WAFL tribunal tonight in a hearing that will determine whether he is available for Fremantle’s final match of the season.

Bucovaz was playing for East Fremantle on Saturday when he was reported for striking Subiaco’s Danny Hughes in the last minute of the match.

The WAFL match review panel referred Bucovaz to the tribunal yesterday after finding video footage supplied by the league and ABC television did not provide a clear view of the incident.

Under the agreement between the WAFL and the two local AFL clubs, Bucovaz will not be able to play for the Dockers if he was suspended by the State league tribunal.

Bucovaz, 20, made his Fremantle debut in the round 13 match against Melbourne but has not added to his AFL tally.

He has played 13 league matches for the Sharks this year for a total of 24.

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Freo must cull the dead wood at season’s end


Fremantle has had a season from hell on the injury front and I am prepared to give many players another chance next season.

After all, West Coast was in a similar predicament last season and look at the turnaround when it got its best players fit.

But that should not mask the fact that many Fremantle players have not been able to improve or have an impact in 2011.

In Friday’s night big loss to Collingwood, there was a heap of possession. It should have suited Byron Schammer, despite the fact he was playing in his first AFL game of the season.

He struggled to find the football.

I felt sorry for a player who obviously had his card crossed at the start of the season.

Let’s face it, he would not have played if Fremantle had not suffered a spate of injuries to key players.

Rhys Palmer continued to turn the ball over and make poor decisions. He has not been given any confidence by the coaching staff.


Jack Anthony finally shines for Dockers


Fremantle recruit Jack Anthony has breathed new life into his AFL career after an impressive defensive performance in Friday night’s 80-point loss to Collingwood.

Anthony has endured a horrid time since his high-profile switch from Collingwood to Fremantle via the the pre-season draft at the end of last year.

The 23-year-old barely fired a shot during the pre-season competition and had to wait until the round eight western derby against West Coast before making his Dockers debut.

Anthony, who is believed to have two more years to run on his current contract, tallied just five possessions and 0.1 against the Eagles before being demoted back to the WAFL, where he spent the next 10 weeks.

His next senior call-up came in round 19 against Hawthorn, but a return of five possessions and no goals in torrid conditions resulted in yet another swift axing.

However, Anthony looked like a player with a new lease on life when assigned to a defensive post against Collingwood, with the former Pie restricting Chris Dawes to just seven possessions and no score while tallying 16 disposals himself.


AFL’s Dockers urged to recruit Fevola


Former Fremantle midfielder Paul Hasleby has urged the Dockers to take a punt on recruiting Brendan Fevola, saying the troubled forward could help the club win an AFL premiership within the next two years.

Fevola, whose AFL career appeared over after being sacked by both Carlton and Brisbane following a string of off-field issues, has thrust himself back into the spotlight with a promising return to VFL ranks.

The 30-year-old has booted 63 goals for the year, including a haul of 10 for Casey Scorpions in last week’s win over Northern Bullants.

And after a season in which the Dockers have averaged just 82.4 points per game – the fourth worst in the competition – Hasleby said the Dockers needed to play skipper Matthew Pavlich as a permanent forward and recruit Fevola if they were to match it with the big boys.


Byron Schammer to retire


Fremantle’s Byron Schammer will retire as an AFL player after Saturday’s round 24 clash against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

The 26-year-old advised the playing group of his decision at today’s regular Monday team meeting.

A veteran of 128 games, Schammer, who played his first game for the season against Collingwood last Friday night, made his debut for Fremantle in round one, 2003, winning a Rising Star Nomination that year.

Recruited from West Adelaide, he was a first round selection for Fremantle (pick no. 13) in the 2002 AFL National Draft.

Schammer said today that he had been mulling over the decision to retire for the last half of the season.

“I’ve put my heart and soul into the footy club for nine years and I now want to be able to put my time and effort into something else,” he said.

He intends to focus his attention on a stockbroking career.


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