Dockers turn to rookies to topple Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers turn to rookies to topple Crows

By Justin Chadwick 25/03/2010 08:58:05 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle have turned to rookie power in a bid to open their AFL season with a win against Adelaide at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

Alex Silvagni and Michael Barlow were recruited to Fremantle as rookies earlier this year and will make their AFL debut against the Crows after being elevated to the senior list and named in the run-on side.

Fellow rookie Jay van Berlo, who played four games last season, has also earned promotion for the round-one clash and was named in the forward line, while powerful midfielder Anthony Morabito, taken with pick No.4 in last year's national draft, will make his debut.

The retirement of Dean Solomon plus long-term injuries to Antoni Grover (knee), Scott Thornton (groin) and Tim Ruffles (knee) opened the door for Fremantle to promote the trio of rookies.

But Harvey admitted difficult decisions would need to be made once the injured players returned.

"When they (the rookies) come on they've obviously got to go off at some stage ... so that'll be a juggling act," Harvey said.

"But it's good that you've got a list where the rookies are putting pressure on selection."

Fremantle kicked just 1.7 in an embarrassing 117-point loss to the Crows in round 15 last year.

But Harvey was confident there would be no repeat of that performance despite naming a young side.

"We had a lot of first-year players last time we played Adelaide in Adelaide and that wasn't successful," he said.

"Here's a little bit different at Subiaco.

"The personnel's changed enormously and (after) a different pre-season the players are a lot more mature and stronger.

"So a lot of things change.

"There's no scars - it's a different season.

"I think the players move on quickly from previous seasons and just look to the year that lies ahead with anticipation."

Dockers goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne was named in the forward line after shaking off a niggling knee injury but Adelaide were dealt a blow when crumbing forward Jason Porplyzia was ruled out after failing to recover in time from a pelvis injury.

Bernie Vince and Nathan van Berlo were named by the Crows despite their limited pre-season preparation and Harvey said the move could backfire on Adelaide.

"That's up to them, that's their balance," Harvey said.

"All I know is most of our players have played two or three games and at least we're happy with where they're at.

"The interesting thing about round one is you actually don't want to be taking players in who are underdone, otherwise you can face the consequences."

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