The Freo Line-up: Griff in for Sandi, Fyfe to play
Star young midfielder Nathan Fyfe will play after missing last weekend’s win over St Kilda with a shoulder injury, while Nick Suban was omitted and will play WAFL for Claremont.
Rookie-listed Lee Spurr was today elevated onto the senior list and has been named as an emergency along with Kepler Bradley and Dylan Roberton.
Fremantle assistant coach Peter Sumich said recent form and past history gave the club every confidence that Griffin would do the job on Friday night.
The former Adelaide ruckman performed admirably in 2011 when Sandilands was out of the side.
“Jon’s had good form in the WAFL for East Fremantle,” Sumich said. “He’s a real bulky type.”
“We could have gone with Kepler Bradley, who is a little bit smaller and leaner, but we thought Jon was a good match-up with (Matthew) Kreuzer.
“We think he’ll go very well and acquit himself.”
Sumich said Zac Clarke would continue in the forward role he has been playing with Sandilands in the side.
“I think Zac has gone really well in the first four games of the year and, hopefully, he can continue that on,” Sumich said.
“We’re not putting a heap of pressure on him, throwing him in as the number one ruckman. He’ll play up forward and spend about five to eight minutes in the ruck per quarter.”
The Freo forward line coach said the absence of exciting Carlton half-back Chris Yarran was a boost to the side’s chances of beating the Blues.
“He’s a class act and a player who, through rebound footy, gets them going forward and links up through the midfield,” Sumich said.
“To lose him is a big one for Carlton. You can’t replace a Yarran.”
The Blues will also be without tagger Andrew Carazzo and defender Jeremy Laidler.
Fremantle enjoys a 14-11 overall win/loss record against Carlton, but lost the most recent encounter at Patersons Stadium by 30 points in round 21 last year when the Blues’ midfield ran rampant against an injury-ravaged home outfit.
A win by Freo will see it start an AFL season with a 4-1 record for the third consecutive year.
B: Greg Broughton, Zac Dawson, Adam McPhee
HB: Michael Johnson, Luke McPharlin, Tendai Mzungu
C: Paul Duffield, Ryan Crowley, Stephen Hill
HF: Matthew de Boer, Christopher Mayne, Lachie Neale
F: Hayden Ballantyne, Matthew Pavlich, Zachary Clarke
Foll: Jonathon Griffin, David Mundy, Nathan Fyfe
I/C: Garrick Ibbotson, Clancee Pearce, Michael Barlow, Jack Anthony
Emg: Kepler Bradley, Dylan Roberton, Lee Spurr
In: Nathan Fyfe, Jonathon Griffin
Out: Aaron Sandilands (Knee), Nick Suban
B: Dennis Armfield, Michael Jamison, Bret Thornton
HB: Zach Tuohy, Lachlan Henderson, Nick Duigan
C: Heath Scotland, Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson
HF: Andrew Walker, Jarrad Waite, Mitch Robinson
F: Jeffrey Garlett, Shaun Hampson, Eddie Betts
Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Chris Judd, Bryce Gibbs
I/C: Jordan Russell, Aaron Joseph, Kane Lucas, Edward Curnow
Emg: Paul Bower, David Ellard, Brock McLean
In: Jordan Russell, Bret Thornton, Andrew Walker, Dennis Armfield, Aaron Joseph
Out: Paul Bower, Andrew Carrazzo (Shoulder), Christopher Yarran (Toe), Brock McLean, Jeremy Laidler (Knee)