AFL's Dockers not throwing in the towel - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL's Dockers not throwing in the towel

Justin Chadwick 15/08/2011 06:00:33 PM Comments (0)

Milestone man Antoni Grover believes Fremantle will enter the AFL finals with an extra boost of freshness about them should they buck the odds and make it that far.

The ninth-placed Dockers sit two points adrift of Sydney and will need to win at least two - and quite possibly all three - of their remaining games in order to scrape into the eight.

That will be no easy feat given those matches are against North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium), reigning premiers Collingwood (Patersons Stadium) and the Bulldogs (Etihad).

But Grover, who will notch his 200th match in Saturday night's do-or-die clash with the Kangaroos, said the recent return of stars such as ruckman Aaron Sandilands and Michael Barlow, plus the impending inclusion of midfielder David Mundy, would give Freo a pivotal boost.

"I would have thought that if we do (make the finals), we've got a few players that have missed a chunk of the season so they'll be coming back pretty fresh mentally and physically, so they can give the team a lift," Grover said on Monday.

"To get (Mundy) and Sandilands back in the last two weeks - they're in our leadership group, they're leaders of the club and they're the people you want out on the field.

"It's pretty obvious that every game's a must-win from here on."

Mundy, who hasn't played since suffering ankle ligament damage in round 12, has been declared a certain starter by coach Mark Harvey.

Not only are Fremantle desperate for victory in order to keep their slim finals hopes alive, a win would also be a fitting celebration of Grover's milestone.

The 31-year-old has been a rock-solid contributor since his debut off the rookie list in 1999, regularly battling out of his weight division to tame some of the biggest forwards in the league.

Yet to decide whether to play a 14th season, Grover said he was honoured to join Matthew Pavlich (255 games), Shane Parker (238), Shaun McManus (228) and Paul Hasleby (208) in the Dockers' 200 club.

"It's a long journey. I remember going down to Subiaco footy club and all I wanted to do was get on the colts list to train," Grover said.

"Probably my passion and my competitive nature is what's kept me around.

"I never like to be beaten. I like to give my all for the club and for me personally. I guess that's something that comes from within."

Grover said he looked up to Parker and Dale Kickett when he first arrived before learning valuable life lessons off the likes of Pavlich, McManus, Peter Bell and Troy Cook.

And with Grover now the elder statesman in a team brimming with youthful talent, the 189cm backman said he felt like a "mini coach" passing on his knowledge.

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