سه‌شنبه, آگوست 11

Team news: Fremantle Dockers name five changes as captain Nat Fyfe returns to face Collingwood

The West Australian
Dockers coach Justin Longmuir and Nat Fyfe.
Camera IconDockers coach Justin Longmuir and Nat Fyfe. Credit: Chris Hyde/via AFL Photos

Dockers captain Nat Fyfe headlines one of five major inclusions for Fremantle’s round nine clash against Collingwood tomorrow.

The hamstrung skipper returns after missing two matches, last suiting up in the Dockers’ incredible come-from-behind victory over St Kilda in the Gold Coast hub.

However Michael Walters, who captained the side in Fyfe’s absence, is a significant out due to a minor hamstring strain.

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Defender Brennan Cox, forward Travis Colyer and fellow midfielders Connor Blakely and Mitch Crowden headline the remaining inclusions alongside Fyfe.

Joining Walters on the sidelines are Darcy Tucker (hamstring), James Aish (concussion), Blake Acres (omitted) and Bailey Banfield (omitted).

Tomorrow’s clash will be Crowden’s first since round one, before the coronavirus shut down, while also marking Blakely’s first senior appearance of the season.

Fremantle Dockers train. Pictured - Nat Fyfe.
Camera IconFremantle Dockers train. Pictured – Nat Fyfe. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Blakely has been pushing for selection for many weeks, before finally earning his opportunity this week.

“I’m really keen to give Connor a go, we will lose a couple of midfielders this weekend,” coach Justin Longmuir said.

“He’ll get his opportunity on ball where he’s been training, where he can play to his strengths and execute his role.

“I think he’s a better player than what he was eight weeks ago and that’s on the back of his dedication to get the most out of everything he’s doing.

“I’m really excited for him to get his opportunity.”

Banfield (omitted), Tom North, Luke Valente and Lloyd Meek have been named as Fremantle’s emergencies.

Meanwhile Collingwood welcome the return of vice-captain Steele Sidebottom, after he completed his four-match suspension for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

The Magpies have also named a debutant, with Irishman Mark Keane named to play his first game in black and white.

The team news comes as the Magpies suffered a huge off-field blow, with senior coach Nathan Buckley and assistant coach Brenton Sanderson fined $25,000 for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

The pair engaged in a tennis match with two people outside of the AFL’s approved ‘hub bubble’, one of whom was Australian Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik.

Bounce down is at 4:10pm tomorrow.

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