Freo trio making progress
Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich is confident key midfielders David Mundy, Nat Fyfe and Anthony Morabito will emerge from interrupted pre-seasons and take part in next month’s NAB Cup.
Mundy (ankle) and Fyfe (groin and shoulder) both had post-season surgery, while the club has taken a cautious approach with Morabito’s return from a full knee reconstruction.
Pavlich said all three had shown encouraging signs and should be fit to take part in pre-season games, with the club launching its NAB Cup campaign against West Coast and Essendon at Patersons Stadium on February 19.
“Fyfe and Mundy should be pretty close to joining in next week, some portion of training. That’s really pleasing,” Pavlich said on Thursday at the annual team photo shoot in Fremantle.
“Certainly Nat’s progressed really well over the last couple of weeks.
“Morabito was running extremely well this morning in the heat and looks to have really progressed over the last couple of weeks with his knee. That’s on track.
“I would have thought all of those guys are likely to play some part in the pre-season games.”
Fremantle’s rehab group has shrunk rapidly since the players returned to training on January 4, with close to 40 players training on Wednesday.
“At the moment we’ve got close to everyone out on the track for a large portion of sessions, which is really pleasing,” Pavlich, who has recovered from hip surgery, said.
“Those who were watching pre-Christmas would have seen that we didn’t have a huge amount of numbers out there. But now post-Christmas we’ve seen a lot of guys really work hard and get into action.
“We’re looking forward to having a few more of those players who are in rehab coming out in the weeks coming as well.”
Despite some early interruptions, young ruckman Zac Clarke has been one of the standout performers during Fremantle’s pre-season.
The versatile 21-year-old, who played 13 games last season in a variety of midfield roles, has been training as a forward with new coach Ross Lyon impressed by his ability in attack.
Pavlich said Clarke’s versatility could allow the 203cm youngster to earn games next season even if Lyon elects to play ruckman Jon Griffin alongside Aaron Sandilands.
“I think Ross has shown in the past with the teams he’s been involved in, he likes playing a couple of ruckmen,” Pavlich said.
“To this point in time it looks as though he (Clarke) is going to spend a little bit more time forward.
“I think the fact that both Jon and Aaron are training really well at the moment actually allows the fact that they could play together.
“But by virtue of Zac displaying some good signs up forward, it does probably allow that even more so.
“He’s improved immensely in his football ability, but also his aerobic capacity.”