Docker Pearce answers Lyon’s fitness call
Ross Lyon’s pre-season demand for Clancee Pearce to get rid of his “fat arse” has given a revealing insight into the brutal fitness focus the Fremantle coach put on his players after taking the reins.
Just 23 days after being elevated from the rookie list, where he has toiled for the past three years, Pearce played a telling role for a third straight game in Fremantle’s pulsating 13-point win over St Kilda last Friday night.
His emergence is both a testament to his gritty resolve to lose weight and get fitter in the pre-season and Lyon’s savvy patience in giving him the chance to stay at the club after he was de-listed.
“From the outside, he played well against the Saints and was a booming kick and I thought he had some attributes,” Lyon said on Melbourne radio station SEN.
“When I walked in the door he was being de-listed and I said, ‘Gee, he’s a rookie-list player who has played 20-odd games and he’s only 21, give us an opportunity to work with him’.
“I just said, ‘Mate, you’ve got an opportunity, but get rid of the fat arse. Start working and dedicate yourself and there’s an opportunity there’.
“The fact is that the players have got to do the work, so he’s dropped his skinfolds … he hasn’t missed a minute on the track and he’ll do anything for the team. He’s (also) tougher than I thought, he’s stood under the ball a few times.”
Lyon last night admitted that Aaron Sandilands was in doubt for Friday night’s clash with Carlton at Patersons Stadium.
The Dockers originally denied reports that Sandilands had a calf problem but he missed training yesterday and Lyon said he still had to prove his fitness.
“He sort of just tweaked his knee a little bit after the game which just bled down a little bit into his calf,” Lyon said.
“He’s basically told me he’ll play but there’s obviously a little element of doubt. He’s got such a big heart and mentally tough that I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play.”
Sandilands has been a dominant figure in previous games against Carlton. He’s received Brownlow Medal votes in four of the past six clashes but faces a big test against in-form Blues ruckman Matthew Kreuzer.
Nat Fyfe trained yesterday after missing the St Kilda match with a shoulder injury. Source Link