Clarke, Anthony miss trip east
Clarke is expected to be the team’s non-travelling emergency, while Anthony has been omitted after making a disappointing return in last Saturday’s 29-point loss to Adelaide.
Defender Paul Duffield, who has played every game this season and averaged 19 disposals, is not injured but was an absentee in the travelling group on Thursday.
“We’ve got to reward players who are doing the right thing and committing themselves week in and week out to playing the type of footy that Ross (Lyon) and the match committee want, and we’ll continue to do that,” football manager Chris Bond said.
“In our last few weeks we haven’t been able to get the job done. Certainly Hawthorn was a poor four-quarter effort and against West Coast the first two quarters were the type of football we want to play but we fell off really badly.
“Last weekend there was some really good football played and some really good commitment by our players but parts of the second quarter and towards the end of the game really hurt us.”
Clarke and Anthony shared in nine possessions and five marks against Adelaide last Saturday and were both held goalless, while Griffin and Bradley showed promise in the WAFL.
Pitt, who is yet to play at senior level this season, comes into the squad after showing form in wing and high forward roles with WAFL club East Perth. Suban has also impressed.
“Nick is certainly somebody that we think is in our best 22 when he’s fit and available,” Bond said.
“He went back to WAFL level and we were quite happy with his form. He’s certainly averaged a fair bit of the ball and he’s been able to get inside the midfield at WAFL level as well. Now, all of a sudden, he’s a player we think we can use in a variety of roles.”
McPhee has missed Fremantle’s last three games with a calf injury and ran laps away from the main group early this week, but Bond was confident the defender was ready to return.
“We’ll finalise and check with Adam tomorrow to see how he pulls up after the flight,” Bond said.
“He was actually quite important to our back six when he played. He was able to play on some small forwards and he played some really consistent footy for us.”
Bond said Fremantle had considered the forecast for wet weather in Melbourne on Saturday in selecting its squad, as well as Richmond’s midfield depth.
“We’re obviously against an in-form team, a team that’s got some fantastic midfield players, and some dominant players,” he said.
“They’re scoring really well at the moment, so we’ll just have to make our balance right and our match-ups right.
“To be honest we’re looking forward to playing them because they’re an in-form team and we need to start beating those teams.”