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Harvey wants shock against Geelong

By Tim Clarke 23/04/2008 04:53:20 PM Comments (0)

A shock rather than awe is what Fremantle coach Mark Harvey is hoping Geelong's Anzac Day date with the Dockers will be remembered for this year.

Statistically, the reigning premiers fly into Western Australia more than 40 points better on average than every other team they have played this season, to face a Dockers side with just one win in 2008.

But with Fremantle's annual Len Hall game given extra credence by being scheduled on Anzac Day by the AFL, Harvey has warned his players against any stargazing under the lights of Subiaco on Friday.

"What we cannot do is go out there and play in awe of Geelong. They are coming to play on our soil, and we have got to make them feel uncomfortable about that," Harvey said.

"At the moment they are 40 points better than those they have played against, on average. So the challenge is to beat the team that no one thinks at this particular stage anyone can beat.

"It happens at times (to teams) when they play Geelong, teams tend to stargaze and not concentrate on the game in hand - and I have spoken to my team about that.

"There is always talk when you win a grand final you have got to get yourself up every week because every side challenges you to another level because you are the premiers.

"They (Geelong) have got to deal with that ... and we go in there with a belief that we can win it, and there is no other way to look at it."

First staged in 1996, the Dockers' annual Len Hall fixture honours Western Australia's last Gallipoli veteran, a devout Fremantle supporter who passed away in 1999.

Harvey, a long time participant in the traditional Collingwood/Essendon Anzac Day clashes said the build up brings with it a special atmosphere.

"When the bugle plays, nothing beats it. Then the adrenaline is really going, and it really takes you to another level for whatever reason," Harvey said.

With the elevation of youngsters giving Dockers fans hope in recent weeks, the future of Chris Tarrant remains less clear, with a mystery injury likely to see him play another game in the WAFL this week.

With Chris Mayne also injured and Des Headland doubtful, Harvey said he was happy to persevere with the younger breed.

"There has been a reluctance to play a lot of the younger players over the past couple of years," Harvey said.

"If you look at clubs across the board this year, they are playing a lot of younger players and they seem to be able to cope with the game better because it has become more of a running game."

And Harvey admitted the likes of Rhys Palmer, Garrick Ibbotson and Marcus Drum getting selected had put some more experienced Dockers' noses out of joint.

"They get their back up against me, no question about that ... and it comes down as a personality of you as a coach and how you deal with those situations," Harvey said.

"You don't ever write them off for a start, and you always have got to speak to your whole playing group week in, week out no matter where they are at."

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