Sandi’s back, Faulks to debut
Kepler Bradley is out injured, while Dylan Roberton has been omitted. Adam McPhee also misses after he was suspended for a week by the AFL tribunal.
Sandilands, who has only played one game since round 9 because of a toe injury, will partner round 20 Rising Star nominee Zac Clarke in the ruck against Carlton’s Robbie Warnock and Matthew Kreuzer.
Clarke and Jon Griffin, who is still unavailable because of injury, have more than ably deputised in Sandilands’ absence, but the three-time All-Australian’s 36 hitouts per game will be welcomed with open arms by Freo’s midfield unit.
Faulks has been rewarded for his excellent defensive performances for WAFL side Peel this season.
The 23-year-old said he was excited and really looking forward to the opportunity to do his bit for the team.
“The first half of the year has been frustrating, but it’s been great to string a few games together in the WAFL and push for selection,” he said.
Faulks said the strengths of his game were his defensive capabilities and his closing speed and added that he felt he had improved markedly in the areas required to play top level footy during his time at Freo.
“I’ve adapted to the load of an AFL footballer, both physically and mentally,” he said.
Faulks spent time on the Sydney Swans’ list in 2007 but never played an AFL game.
He said that experience has allowed him to make the most of his second chance at playing AFL.
“You’ve got to use your coaches and training staff as much as you can,” he said.
“You have to hit them up for as much information as you can and always learn.”
Faulks said the most important thing on Saturday would be to ensure he beats his man.
“That’s first and foremost, but I also have to run and create when that opportunity presents,” he said.
“I have to have a crack and play my part for the 22.”