Rollercoaster Dockers cop scolding - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rollercoaster Dockers cop scolding

Justin Chadwick 22/06/2011 04:17:50 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has urged his team to ditch their rollercoaster AFL form, saying it's time for the club's fringe players to stand tall and make their mark on the side.

The Dockers started the season in dominant fashion but have since slumped to seventh on the table following losses in five of their past seven games, with last week's 89-point loss to Melbourne coming just a week after a 34-point win over Essendon.

Harvey refused to use the club's lengthy injury list as an excuse for the recent run of poor form, claiming it's simply a case of players not pulling their weight when given their chance in the side.

"All I would say is when it's your chance to get in the team, irrespective of injury, then it's what you make of it," Harvey said ahead of Saturday night's clash with struggling Brisbane at Patersons Stadium.

"At this particular stage it'd be reasonable to say that some of these guys aren't taking their opportunity.

"There's a significant amount of moments in a game where players need to be very quick with their reactions to what they should do.

"Execution of skill, under the pressure of the AFL system, has to be elite.

"If it's not then you're going to suffer the penalty.

"In various ways last week we suffered a huge penalty, particularly backward of our centre.

"That's why training the individual to become a better footballer is so important."

Harvey said his team needed to start performing consistently if they were to match it with the competition's heavyweights.

"The rollercoaster effect is quite evident with a number of teams, but to be honest, it's not something we want to be a part of," Harvey said.

"We want to be more consistent with what we're doing. That's our main aim at this stage.

"It's an opportunity for whoever pulls on the Fremantle jumper to make sure that he's consistent."

Harvey said forward Kepler Bradley would return against the Lions after being a late withdrawal last week, but Antoni Grover (adductor) and Ryan Crowley (back) are facing a race against time to prove their fitness.

Defenders Roger Hayden and Alex Silvagni are in the selection mix after making successful WAFL returns, but goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) may require another week on the sidelines.

Ruckman Aaron Sandilands (foot) is a chance to return a week earlier than expected, but Harvey said the 211cm giant must be 100 per cent fit if he was to take part against Brisbane.

"We have to make sure that if Aaron plays he gets through a full training session, there's no soreness, and that we don't have to use him on and off the interchange bench because it's his first game back," Harvey said.

"Because if we keep doing that, then we'll have issue as the game goes on, and we can't afford that, particularly if you lose a player under this rotation scheme that we've got."

Harvey said he would consider switching Michael Johnson, who booted three goals last week, back to defence to help counter the influence of Brisbane skipper Jonathan Brown.

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