Barlow to help Dockers break hoodoo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barlow to help Dockers break hoodoo

Justin Chadwick 15/06/2011 05:54:16 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey hopes the return of gun midfielder Michael Barlow for Sunday's AFL clash with Melbourne will help his side break a worrying MCG hoodoo.

The Dockers have lost their past nine games at the MCG, with their last win at the venue coming against the Demons back in round four, 2007.

Fremantle's task of breaking the losing run has been made tougher by injuries to key ball-winner David Mundy (leg) and goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring).

But Harvey believed the long-awaited return of Barlow, who broke the fibula and tibia bones in his left leg in round 14 last year, would hand the Dockers a crucial morale boost in their bid to topple the Demons.

"I'm pleased for him (that he's ready to return to AFL ranks) ... and we announced it to the players this morning and the applause was deafening," Harvey said on Wednesday.

"All the hard work's paid off.

"He's just excited to be back in the team.

"Hopefully he can take off from where he left it.

"I think the resolve amongst the group has been terrific ... on the back of losing some of our real quality players.

"And that shouldn't go unnoticed, so we go to the MCG again to make sure that we can rectify some situations that we've had over previous experiences there.

"Don't under-estimate us on the road, that's what I would say.

"We've had five games and we've won three. And the two that we've lost was just the last quarter (that cost us) and we've got a bit of a handle on that situation."

Barlow looked sharp in his two WAFL hit-outs and Harvey predicted the 23-year-old would return better than someone on the comeback from a knee reconstruction.

"Because he's had a plate in there ... I would have thought long term he'd be better off with a break rather than a knee re-construction," said Harvey, who also confirmed Barlow wouldn't start as the nominated sub.

"I don't think it's going to affect this guy no matter what sort of injury it was.

"And I would be expecting Mick to put in a good performance and Melbourne would have to look at what he does.

"Barlow gives a very good temperament to the team when he's out there and he's a very good instructor and reader of the situation, so that counts for a lot other than injury."

Dockers forward Kepler Bradley is in some doubt after copping a heavy knock to the head in last week's win over Essendon.

Harvey said he was unsure whether the Demons would bring back ruckman Mark Jamar this week.

"I mean I read Dean (Bailey's) comments (that Jamar will be) 50-50," Harvey said.

"We'll probably have our spies over there just making sure to see whether they do or not."

The Demons will be eager to bounce back from Monday's 88-point loss to Collingwood, in which Melbourne recorded just 34 inside 50s to the Magpies' 74.

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