Solomon urged to go hard, but fair - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Solomon urged to go hard, but fair

By Melissa Woods And Justin Chadwick 04/04/2009 01:41:29 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle swingman Antoni Grover has urged teammate Dean Solomon to unleash his trademark hard hits against Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Sunday - as long as they're within the rule book.

Solomon was handed an eight-game suspension and branded a thug last year for his gruesome elbow on Geelong's Cameron Ling.

But Grover said the former Bomber, who returns to the Dockers line-up for the first time since that incident, needed to retain his renowned hardness at the ball.

"We like Dean's physicality but as far as getting suspended for eight weeks, we don't want to see that happen," Grover said.

"But we still like to see him use his body and the physical part of his game."

The Bombers made four changes to the side that lost to Port Adelaide by 41 points last week.

First-year key defender Michael Hurley (quad) and Sam Lonergan (fractured hand) were ruled out through injury, while Bachar Houli and Jay Neagle were omitted.

Speedy midfielder David Zaharakis, snared with pick No.23 at last year's national draft, and Michael Quinn, an Irish rookie from County Longford, were selected for their AFL debuts and will be joined in the side by recalled pair Darcy Daniher and David Myers.

The Dockers made just two changes, recalling Solomon and defender Scott Thornton at the expense of Marcus Drum and Ryan Murphy.

Roger Hayden was named in Fremantle's initial 25-man squad but failed a fitness test on his injured hamstring.

The match will mark Essendon midfielder Brent Stanton's 100th game for the club, but the 22-year-old said he would happily trade the milestone for the four competition points.

"It's exciting to play 100 games at the club you started with but it's more important that we try and win this game this weekend," said Stanton, who was given the honour of wearing former club champion James Hird's number five last year.

"There are accolades in football but the most important one is winning games (and) that leads into hopefully making finals, which we haven't done for a while."

Fremantle suffered a 63-point loss to Western Bulldogs last week but Prescott still rated the Dockers as a "very dangerous" outfit.

"I see (Matthew) Pavlich has been challenged, probably not too dissimilar to what (Matthew) Lloyd has, so two champions will be out there to try and get their seasons going," Prescott said.

"Pavlich is going into the centre bounce a little bit more and then pushing forward but we've got some plans in place to counter his influence hopefully.

"They're very unpredictable, Fremantle, but they're very explosive too so we need to be on our guard."

Fremantle are looking to overcome their Docklands curse, having not won at the venue since round 17, 2006.

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