Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands is to have surgery on his injured left hamstring.
General manager of football operations Chris Bond said that based on the advice of a Melbourne specialist Sandilands visited today he would miss between eight and 12 weeks.
“It’s very disappointing for Aaron and the club but with the appropriate period of recovery and a structured rehabilitation program, it is possible he will be available for selection mid-way through the season,” Bond said.
The AFL Match Review Panel has cleared Matthew Pavlich of contact with West Coast defender Will Schofield.
The panel deemed the Freo captain had jumped to mark before the ball had reached Schofield and the action was not deemed to be reportable.
However, Hayden Ballantyne has been offered a one-game ban for engaging in rough conduct against Eagle Scott Selwood.
Freo defender Michael Johnson has a good view of the field ahead of him from half-back.
On Saturday, playing in his 150th game for the club, Johnson liked what he saw from one of his favourite players.
The 28-year-old is big fan of the abilities of fellow Indigenous Freo Docker Stephen Hill, who he believes will one day own the record for most games played at Freo by an Indigenous player, currently held by the retired Antoni Grover with 202 games.
Fremantle might be missing its giant ruckman Aaron Sandilands, but height in the midfield still shapes as a match winning factor for the club this season.
David Mundy (192cm), Michael Barlow (191cm), Ryan Crowley (190cm) and Nat Fyfe (190cm) were all influential in Saturday’s 28-point win over West Coast, overpowering an opposition midfield that didn’t boast one player over 190cm.
Danyle Pearce proved he was not a falling star in his Fremantle debut.
On Saturday night, the 2006 NAB AFL Rising Star put in a performance that would have left Port Adelaide fans wondering why they let the star midfielder go.
Though influential in the first quarter, Pearce, who joined Fremantle from the Power as a free agent in the summer, really came alive when he dribbled his first goal through from a tight angle late in the second quarter.
It followed an embarrassing incident in which he and teammate Chris Mayne collided while trying to mark without any Eagles in sight.
“I did see Mayney coming through and I thought ‘key forward, let him go’ and then I thought ‘oh, no, if I don’t go and he doesn’t then that will look even worse’.
“So, luckily it snuck through and, yeah, lucky I kicked it.”
Co-Ross Glendinning Medallists, David Mundy and Michael Barlow, have played down personal accolades, praising the team effort for tonight’s emphatic victory over West Coast.
The pair, who were the first co-winners of the Medal, put on a Carlton Mid Derby midfield master-class, helping Freo defeat the Eagles by 28 points at Patersons Stadium.
Barlow, who won the Glendinning Medal in just his sixth AFL game in 2010, was prolific from the beginning, winning 27 disposals, most of which were in the first three quarters when the game was on the line.
He was unshakable in the trenches with 14 contested possessions, six clearances and nine tackles.
Speaking after the game, he said the team had entered the Derby with the focus of playing “Fremantle football first”.
“We wanted to control the things we could control, and that’s the 46 guys on our list and, come game day, the 22 players executing their role,” Barlow said.
Ross, what did you make of the match?
We were really pleased to get the four points. Round one is really important. We all come off big summers full of hope and expectation. We thought we were in really good shape and that was proven.
It was a slow start. I think you have to admire the Eagles, the reality is they were depleted in some areas, particularly in the midfield and the way they came out and took the game right up to us, but in the end I thought our preparation and total teamsmanship in the end was quite dominant. There were signs well before half time but we just couldn’t hurt them on the scoreboard and they scored pretty easy. Once we tidied a few of those things up, I thought our third quarter was dominant and there was a real arm wrestle in the last. A lot to like, but a lot to improve on.
Due to the performances of Michael Barlow, David Mundy, Danyle Pearce and Stephen Hill, you could be forgiven for not noticing the efforts of ruckman Jonathon Griffin against West Coast.
Pitted against arguably the best big man of the past decade, Griffin ensured Eagles champion Dean Cox had no serious impact on the game by almost matching Cox’s disposal tally and contesting hard in every contest.
His 12 disposals, four marks and 20 hit-outs earned him high praise from Fremantle coach Ross Lyon, who often shies away from talking about the performances of individual players.
Friday night’s semi-final loss to Adelaide was a tough ending to Fremantle’s encouraging finals campaign, but it could prove the final act in a pivotal season in the club’s history.
On the back of the team’s finals heroics it’s easy to forget Freo’s September dreams were circling the drain with the club sitting 13th on the ladder after round 14 on the back of five losses from six games.
Ross Lyon and his game plan were subjected to some intense scrutiny before a stirring fightback in the second half of the season saw them fall about 10 points shy of participating in a preliminary final.
Fremantle won nine of 10 games, including an upset elimination final win against Geelong, before stumbling against the Crows.
Ruckman Aaron Sandilands agrees the performances in the second half of 2012 will give he and his teammates plenty to work with next year and beyond, but the final sting in the tail of the season may prove to be the biggest spur.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has refused to use his team’s gruelling travel schedule as an excuse for Friday night’s season-ending loss to Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
Freo’s players had little time to recover from the elimination final win against Geelong in Melbourne before fronting up to face the Crows in Adelaide six days later.
Despite the short turnaround, Fremantle burst out of the blocks to lead by 29 points early in the second quarter before being overrun, but Lyon dismissed talk that travel may have played a part.
“It’s irrelevant – it’s all garbage to be frank,” Lyon said.
“As senior coach of the Fremantle Football Club … we’re not into excuses. You earn the right for top-four, scheduling is irrelevant, we wouldn’t have been talking about scheduling if we’d been a bit more organised [on the field] and a bit more polished.