Jack Anthony’s bid to re-establish himself as a power forward has been stalled by a calf strain that has ruled him out of Fremantle’s team to play Geelong at Patersons Stadium tomorrow night.

Anthony, who kicked two goals in Fremantle’s last NAB Cup match against Hawthorn and looked set to play in the season opener, missed the club’s open training session on Tuesday.

Club officials were initially tight-lipped about any concern but yesterday, after the Dockers named a team with ruckman Aaron Sandilands and midfielder Michael Barlow but without veteran defender Antoni Grover (named as an emergency) and Anthony, football manager Chris Bond confirmed Anthony had a sore calf muscle.

“He was close but we didn’t want to risk him,” Bond said. “We are 100 per cent expecting he will be available to play next week.”

Geelong named a team boasting 17 of the 22 from last year’s premiership team. Retired pair Brad Ottens and Cameron Ling, and injured trio Josh Hunt, David Wojcinski and Travis Varcoe are missing.

Young defender Billy Smedts and mature-aged ruck rookie Orren Stephenson will make their debuts.

Anthony had a nightmare first season at Fremantle, going goalless in just four games, two of which he played in defence.

But he had worked hard to make himself part of Ross Lyon’s revamped forward-line structure and found his way back onto the scoreboard in NAB Cup matches against Port Adelaide and the Hawks when he competed strongly as a marking target in attack.

The other significant stories to come out of Fremantle’s selection were the elevation of rookie Clancee Pearce onto the primary list and into the team to face the Cats, and the selection of young forward Josh Mellington for just his third AFL game.

Pearce’s solid form over the month of the NAB Cup made his inclusion no surprise. The club had made room for his elevation by placing Viv Michie on the long-term injured list after he suffered another foot stress fracture.

Bond said Pearce’s selection was reward for a major turnaround in the way he went about his football after being de-listed at the end of last season, but being offered an opportunity by new coach Lyon.Source Link

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