Lyon cool on Harvey clash
Saturday’s 13-point loss to the Sydney Swans had barely finished and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was already being asked about next week’s first meeting with the Brisbane Lions and their assistant coach Mark Harvey.
Harvey’s sacking from Fremantle last season, and Lyon’s subsequent departure from St Kilda to take over at Freo, generated almost unprecedented media coverage.
That is likely to re-occur this week when the two men come face-to-face in Perth for the first time.
Asked if he would shake hands with Harvey at the start of the match in some sort of symbolic gesture to bury the hatchet, Lyon said: “I hadn’t really thought about that.
“I tell you what, I’ll think about it and get back to you. To be honest, I’m really here to talk about the Swans.”
Pushed further on the matter, Lyon gave a respectful appraisal of Harvey, but said he wouldn’t be going out of his way to extend any olive branches.
“It’s a question without notice and I haven’t really thought about it,” he said.
“At the end of the day, Mark Harvey is an important part of Fremantle’s history and we all respect that and he certainly now is an opposition assistant coach.
“He’ll do his role. Just like I am part of St Kilda’s history and now I’m the Fremantle coach.
“To be honest, there will be no special consideration outside of that given.”
Back to on-field matters, the Swans took a commanding 45-point lead through a Lewis Jetta goal before the visitors made a stunning comeback, slamming through six consecutive goals to cut the margin to nine points. But Freo’s comeback fell short.
Fremantle also had some injury concerns, with Paul Duffield taken to hospital with what Lyon described as a rib problem, while Josh Mellington was subbed out with a corked leg in the second term, replaced by Michael Barlow.
Lyon’s only real concern afterwards, however, was his side’s poor start in the 14.10 (94) to 12.9 (81) defeat.
“Any game of AFL footy you want to start well,” he said.
“I thought we started OK, but we missed some shots and they took theirs and at quarter-time there weren’t really signs of the second quarter (when the Swans kicked five goals to one).
“We didn’t play with the discipline that we’d like but to the group’s credit – it’s half empty and half full.
“When the whips are cracking early, you want to play how we did in the second half.
“We dominated the second half and couldn’t quite get the job done.”
Lyon was asked about injuries, the toll last week’s win over Geelong may have taken, even the wind, but he had little interest in those elements.
“I’m hearing a lot of excuses being put forward,” he said.
“We’re a no-excuse football club. A half doesn’t get it done.”