Dockers attempt to beat the slump - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers attempt to beat the slump

By Justin Chadwick 29/07/2010 07:08:55 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey hopes the return of several key players from injury for Sunday's western derby clash with West Coast will help his AFL team avoid a slump.

The Dockers, crippled by injuries in recent months, have lost four of their past seven games, dropping them to fifth spot on the table.

The return of defender Chris Tarrant (heel) and David Mundy (stomach) for this week's derby represents a timely boost for the club and Fremantle sprung a major selection surprise on Thursday by naming South Australian Justin Bollenhagen for his debut.

Finals talk is still firmly off the agenda at Fremantle but Harvey said his team needed to show that last week's 82-point loss to the Bulldogs was a mere aberration.

"All you've got to make sure (of) is that your team can rebound on the back of what happened last week and make sure we can keep progressing and not find ourselves in some sort of slump," Harvey said.

"What we are trying to do is get as many wins as we can to build up to whatever is perceived that might happen later on.

"So that's all we're looking at.

"The players we've got out at the moment we're working as hard as we can from a sports science point of view to try to get them back as quick as we can."

Kepler Bradley was named on an extended interchange bench after recovering from a knee injury, but Rhys Palmer (shoulder) and Clancee Pearce (knee) were forced out of the side.

The return of Tarrant from a five-week layoff has come at a perfect time for Fremantle, with the 29-year-old set to get the job on West Coast dangerman Mark LeCras.

"He's had a good record on him," Harvey said.

"But as we know Mark tends to play forward and also up across the wing or on-ball at times.

"Just depends on where they pit him."

The last-placed Eagles enter the match without midfielder Adam Selwood (shoulder) and forward Ashton Hams (suspension).

And doubts still linger over the fitness of youngster Brad Sheppard, who was named on an extended interchange bench, and forward Josh Kennedy.

West Coast coach John Worsfold declared Kennedy a certain starter but refused to elaborate when asked what was troubling the former Blue.

"That's a good question. I don't really know. Well I do know but I don't know if I'd call it an injury. I don't know if you'd call it an ailment either," Worsfold said.

The Eagles recalled Brett Jones, Pat McGinnity, Ben McKinley, Callum Wilson and Tom Swift, but all still face the chop after being named on the extended bench.

Bollenhagen, snared by the Dockers with pick No.52 in last year's national draft, was named on the half back flank.

Fremantle have a perfect 6-0 derby record under Harvey's watch.

But Harvey felt that statistic was somewhat deceptive.

"I mean these games, if you have a look at them over the last couple of years, West Coast have been in control of the game for long periods and we've managed to get up and win," he said.

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