Headland in doubt for Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Headland in doubt for Dockers

By Justin Chadwick 25/02/2009 08:53:38 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle midfielder Des Headland faces an uphill battle to be fit for round one of the AFL season, with a niggling calf and Achilles complaint halting his pre-season preparation.

Headland, who managed just six games last year due to a serious knee injury, has been on restricted duties all summer.

The 28-year-old will not feature in any of the Dockers' pre-season games but coach Mark Harvey is hopeful the 152-game veteran could take part in Fremantle's season opener against the Bulldogs at Subiaco Oval on March 29.

"He's still got a month and a lot of things can happen, he could surprise us all and get there," Harvey said on Wednesday.

"But at this stage he's 50-50 for round one.

"Him and young (Hayden) Ballantyne (wrist) will probably find it difficult getting to round one."

Meanwhile, Harvey will use Saturday's pre-season clash with North Melbourne in Canberra to begin experimenting with former Pie Chris Tarrant.

Tarrant, who has played predominantly as a forward throughout his 198-game career, will be given stints in defence and on the wing against the Roos as Harvey looks to breathe new life into the 28-year-old.

"I see maybe it working out a little bit like we use Luke (McPharlin) at times," Harvey said.

"Start back and if we need to fill other areas down in the forward line we know that they can play down in the forward line.

"He's got good speed and endurance and he's six foot four.

"He's been working heavily on his spoiling and cutting off leading techniques so I would like to think that he can play on a key forward for a long period of time.

"I mean we've got McPharlin down there so ... Tarrant would be able to take the second best forward.

"I think that's the unpredictability about your side that sometimes you do need.

"Wherever we intend on playing him over the next three weeks, we've probably got to settle him down, so we've got to see how it goes.

"I just see with Tarrant that this could be a good opportunity from a young team's point of view that he might be able to play a role in a different area for us and it might be to our advantage."

Skipper Matthew Pavlich returns to the side this weekend but ruckman Aaron Sandilands and utility Kepler Bradley are among a raft of senior players set to be rested.

Zac Clarke, the 203cm ruckman taken with pick No.37 in last year's national draft, will share the tap duties with Daniel Gilmore.

"He (Clarke) has got some exceptional talent but it's going to take a long time for his body to handle the rigours of rucking and things like that," Harvey said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news