Dockers search for AFL midfield answers
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will start filtering out his team’s weakest links over the coming weeks as he attempts to revitalise the AFL club’s underperforming midfield.
The Dockers are reeling from back-to-back thumpings, with the club posting their lowest ever score at Patersons Stadium in Sunday’s 48-point loss to arch rivals West Coast.
Lyon conceded his midfield was “obliterated” in the 11.18 (84) to 5.6 (36) loss, and immediately put his charges on notice.
Of most concern to Lyon is the midfield group, who have failed to capitalise on the dominance of ruckman Aaron Sandilands this season.
Against the Eagles, Fremantle managed just 30 inside 50s compared to West Coast’s 64.
Lyon said it wasn’t all doom and gloom with his side sitting at 5-4, but conceded the time was right to slowly introduce more youth into the side, with Tom Sheridan and Hayden Crozier in line to make their debuts over the coming weeks.
“The Eagles have shown how quickly you can turn it around. They were in this position two or three years ago, so from here we’ll push forward and try to expose our youth,” Lyon said ahead of Saturday’s tough home clash with Adelaide.
“Those players that want to be a part of the solution and work really hard we’ll support, and try and filter out those that don’t want to work to the standard that we need to.
“As a coaching group we clearly need to improve as well.”
Lyon said his experiment of playing three ruckmen didn’t quite yield the desired results, meaning ruckman Jonathon Griffin is set to lose his spot.
And defender Alex Silvagni could join him in the WAFL after Lyon expressed his desire for more running-type players in the backline.
With the likes of Chris Mayne and Matt de Boer likely to be given more time in the midfield, forward Michael Walters is a strong chance to earn a recall after his fitness was regarded as not being up to scratch at the start of the season.