Bookends Luke McPharlin and Kepler Bradley are the big inclusions in Fremantle’s team to face in-form St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.Nick Suban also returns after missing a week with soreness, while Clayton Hinkley has been rewarded for strong WAFL form.

As expected, Matt de Boer and Rhys Palmer are out through injury, while Ryan Crowley and Jack Anthony are the other omissions.

Jayden Pitt has been named as an emergency along with Crowley and Anthony.

McPharlin returns to shore up Freo’s defence and will probably play on Saints’ captain Nick Riewoldt, who he kept goalless in round 10 earlier this season.

Bradley hasn’t played since round 14 and will likely play forward, although he may also be considered as a ruck backup to Zac Clarke, given Aaron Sandilands and Jon Griffin are both out.

Fremantle assistant coach Simon Lloyd said Fremantle had to learn from the loss to the Saints at Patersons Stadium in round 10 this year.

“St Kilda got out to a good start, and we didn’t do too badly in the second half,” he said.

“They did very well to push their forwards right up the ground. Peake and Schneider got us a number of times out over the top.

“We’ve got to be able to cover that.

“Their defenders in Gilbert, Goddard and Fisher really got a hold of us, too. They do lay off the forwards a fair bit, so we’ve got to be really smart and think our way through situations.

“Playing St Kilda is a lot like playing a game of chess. They’re very organised and strategic.”

Lloyd said Nick Dal Santo, who has been in brilliant form, was another player that Fremantle had to contain.

“He’s had a great year,” Lloyd said.

“You look at all the indicators – disposals, contested ball, efficiency – he is a class player and an elite player of the opposition.

“Somebody will have to be up to the challenge of playing on him this week.”

Lloyd said Hinkley, who played three AFL games from rounds 12-14, has had a very consistent season playing for Swan Districts and has earned a recall to the team.

“I watched him recently at WAFL level and you can see his game is improving. He’s played well week-in week-out,” Lloyd said.

“The best asset of Clayton’s game is his run and speed, which we want him to use at AFL level.

“He’ll give us more run, which we’ve been lacking.”

Fremantle has never beaten St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, and Lloyd said Friday night’s game would be a huge challenge to a young Freo side already missing a fair bit of experience.

“To not have your Dave Mundy’s and Aaron Sandilands’ out on the park makes it hard, but that means that others have to step up,” he said.

“Whilst last week was disappointing against Hawthorn, we have played some good football in recent weeks.

Lloyd pointed to a strong interstate record in 2011 as a confidence booster for Friday night’s game, although he admitted that the club’s form in Melbourne has been poor this season.

“The Sydney game was a great win in Sydney, and we came away with wins in Adelaide and Brisbane,” he said.

“Our interstate record is 4-3 at the moment. We have played some good football away, bar our performances in Melbourne, which we need to rectify.”


B: Tendai Mzungu, Alex Silvagni, Antoni Grover

HB: Adam McPhee, Luke McPharlin, Paul Duffield

C: Greg Broughton, Nathan Fyfe, Hayden Ballantyne

HF: Dylan Roberton, Kepler Bradley, Garrick Ibbotson

Michael Johnson, Matthew Pavlich, Christopher Mayne

Foll: Zachary Clarke, Michael Barlow, Stephen Hill

I/C: Clayton Hinkley, Nick Suban, Clancee Pearce, Nick Lower

Emg: Ryan Crowley, Jayden Pitt, Jack Anthony

In: L.McPharlin, K.Bradley, C.Hinkley, N.Suban;
Out: R.Crowley (Omitted), J.Anthony (Omitted), R.Palmer (Ankle), Boer (Knee)

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