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.
“If the hierarchy believe they can win a premiership within the next two years, they need to go after a key forward,” Hasleby told thewest.com.au on Monday.
“(Brisbane’s) Mitch Clark has been mentioned and they need to seriously look at giving Brendan Fevola another opportunity.
“I know he has his issues but everyone deserves another chance in life.
“He would have to come on Fremantle’s terms but he is the one player I see out there who could have a huge impact straight away.
“Given that most of Fremantle’s key position players are over 30 I think the time is now for the Dockers before these older players retire.
“It is not like he is taking a younger prospect’s spot because I don’t see any young, developing forwards on their list.
Former North Melbourne and Hawthorn forward Nathan Thompson said the Kangaroos should also look at recruiting Fevola, who is keen to re-ignite his career at the elite level.
The Dockers could finish the season as low as 13th on the ladder just a year after reaching the semi-finals.
Although Fremantle’s 2011 campaign was cruelled by injuries to key players, Hasleby said there remained too many passengers on the list.
“This year I thought the list only contained 26 AFL standard players,” Hasleby said.
“I think they need to add to that list through recruiting and perhaps drafting more mature-age players who can be called on if there is another horror injury year.”
Hasleby, who played 208 games for the Dockers before retiring at the end of last year, said out-of-contract midfielder Rhys Palmer should look at playing elsewhere next season.
Meanwhile, the Dockers will be forced to make at least three changes for Saturday’s clash with the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium after Nick Lower was offered a three-match suspension for his dangerous bump on Collingwood’s Dale Thomas.
Lower joins Peter Faulks (broken jaw, fractured cheekbone) and Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder) on the sidelines, but Antoni Grover and Alex Silvagni are due to return from injury.