Dockers hope Bradley will be wildcard - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers hope Bradley will be wildcard

Sam Lienert 04/08/2011 06:54:47 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle are hoping the recalled Kepler Bradley can prove a danger man for a depleted St Kilda defence in Friday night's crunch AFL clash.

The eighth-placed Dockers are seeking to bounce back from a disappointing 51-point home loss to Hawthorn and break a seven-match losing streak against the seventh-placed Saints.

With a tough run home and several challengers pushing hard for their top-eight berth, Dockers assistant coach Barry Mitchell said they had to find form fast.

"We know that we need to win three games and we want to start with tomorrow," Mitchell said on Thursday night.

Fremantle made five changes from the side that lost to the Hawks, including the loss of Matt de Boer (knee) and Rhys Palmer (ankle), who have joined a long injury list.

Tall utility Bradley was among the inclusions and will play his first senior game in six weeks.

He kicked 20 goals in the Dockers' first nine games of the season, before a form drop-off prompted a demotion.

But Mitchell hopes he can prove a wildcard against a Saints defence that has lost Zac Dawson to suspension, to compound the injury-forced absence of fellow backman James Gwilt.

"Kepler's obviously a big man and we hope he can exploit that area a bit with Gwilt and Dawson out," Mitchell said.

"So hopefully we can get the ball in quick enough to him and he can put some pressure on."

Kicking a decent score will be Fremantle's toughest task against a St Kilda side that have conceded an average of just 52 points during their current five-match winning streak.

"When you play them it's going to be a battle," Mitchell said.

But he was hoping the effort St Kilda have needed to climb back into the eight, winning eight of their past 10 games after a slow start to the season, might count against them.

"They've had to fight pretty hard to get back into the season, so maybe they might have the foot off a little bit, we'll have to wait and see."

St Kilda regained captain Nick Riewoldt from suspension and recalled defender Jason Blake, while key backman Luke McPharlin is back from a ban for the Dockers.

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