Jack Anthony poised for re-birth at Fremantle under Ross Lyon
Fremantle wildcard Jack Anthony is poised for a re-birth under Ross Lyon, with the new Dockers coach confirming the 2011 outcast is part of his preferred forward set-up.
Anthony, who played four times in his first season at Fremantle under Mark Harvey, teamed with fellow talls Matthew Pavlich and Kepler Bradley for the Freo white team in Friday night’s intra-club hitout at Patersons Stadium.
While the onus will be on the former Magpie to impress during the NAB Cup to ensure he is part of Fremantle’s 22 for the first-round showdown with Geelong, Lyon confirmed he saw the three-pronged attacking set-up as a trial run.
Anthony generally started deepest, with Pavlich and Bradley higher up.
“They’re not super talls, but they’re really mobile, athletic talls and we’re pretty keen to go down that path,” Lyon said.
“I thought it worked OK.”
If Anthony, who kicked one goal in the scratch match, was chosen to play against the Cats it would complete a remarkable transformation from six months earlier, when Subiaco decided he was not worth a spot in its 22 for the WAFL Grand Final.
Ruck option Zac Clarke played mainly as a forward for the purple team rather than go up against No.1 big man Aaron Sandilands in the ruck.
It is understood Jonathon Griffin, who missed the intra-club match with knee tendonitis, leads the race to partner Sandilands in the ruck in Round 1, with Clarke seen more as a back-up forward option and likely to begin the season in the WAFL.
Sandilands and Griffin, viewed as similar types of ruckmen, did not play a match together last season under Harvey.
Fremantle has never made the grand final of the pre-season competition.
“To be frank, as much as when we go, we go to play and we go to win, everything is geared towards Round 1 against the reigning premier,” Lyon said.
“It’s certainly match conditioning all the way through for the next six, seven weeks and continuing to work on game style with the ball, without the ball and in a contest.”
Key defender Luke After rolling his ankle at training this week, McPharlin has targeted a comeback in 21 days against Richmond in Round 2 of the NAB Cup.
“I just rolled over on it but luckily there’s not too much damage,” McPharlin said.
“We’ll just need to monitor it for the next couple of weeks. It’s the sort of injury I could probably get up and play with perhaps if need be but at this time of year it’s more of a conservative approach.”