Barlow back for Fremantle against Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barlow back for Fremantle against Demons

Greg Buckle 18/06/2011 12:38:47 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne assistant coach Scott West says AFL fans across the nation will be thrilled to see Fremantle's Michael Barlow back in action on Sunday.

West was shattered to see the midfielder's dream run in his debut season come to such a sudden and painful end.

Barlow, who finished seventh in Fremantle's best and fairest despite breaking his leg in round 14 and missing the rest of the 2010 season, returns to the team for Sunday's MCG clash against Melbourne.

Geelong recruit Ben Bucovaz also comes into the side on debut for injured pair David Mundy and Hayden Ballantyne.

West said the performance of Barlow in 2010 as a 22-year-old recruit from Werribee was a great story.

"I'm rapt for him that he has been able as a mature-age player come in and really have an impact on AFL footy," West told AAP.

"Everyone's heart sank a little bit regardless of who you follow or coach when we see the incident.

"From a selfish point of view, I hope it takes a week for him to get back into the swing of things.

"He has come back after a really serious injury and been able to hit the ground running in the WAFL. He's certainly a player we have a huge amount of respect for."

The seventh-placed Dockers regained form with a 34-point win at home against Essendon, but Mark Harvey's side face a tough test against Melbourne on a ground where Fremantle have lost their past nine games.

West said the Demons, still smarting from their 88-point loss to Collingwood, would concentrate on their own game and not dwell on Fremantle's MCG hoodoo.

"They want to play finals footy and the big games in September are played at the MCG," West said.

"That's something they would have been talking about.

"There's really no excuse for us to concern ourselves too much with what Freo do."

West said the 10th-placed Demons were confident of improving in the second half of the season.

"It has been frustrating because of the up and down of our form," West said.

"We know there's light at the end of the tunnel.

"We've got to get some games and continuity in guys like Jack Trengove who missed three weeks (with suspension).

"Jordan Gysberts has just come into the team (nine games this year for a total of 12), Jordie McKenzie missed the first bit of the year (resuming in round nine).

"(All-Australian ruckman) Mark Jamar has been out. We haven't had much consistency in who has been through the midfield."

West said 20-year-old midfielder Tom Scully, a target for 2012 debutants Greater Western Sydney, would only get better.

Sunday's clash will be Scully's third match back from a knee injury.

"He's certainly a player we'll be looking to get some consistency in playing games and that will help us play better footy," West said.

West said 39-game player Stefan Martin had done a tremendous job with Jamar on the sidelines.

"Stef is ideally that number-two, pinch-hitting ruck," West said.

The Demons have recalled Ricky Petterd and Colin Garland for Neville Jetta (hand injury) and Michael Evans.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 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