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Lloyd’s not so meek

Senior coach Ross Lyon addresses the media on Friday. Ross Lyon chats to the media ahead of Freo's first JLT Community Series Game.

Draftee ruckman Lloyd Meek will be thrown into the fray against Adelaide in Fremantle’s JLT Community Series opener, but senior coach Ross Lyon expects the 19-year-old to hold his own at Strathalbyn Oval on Sunday.

Lyon says the 203cm product from the Greater Western Victoria Rebels boasts the frame of a game-ready AFL ruckman, with Meek to share playing time with lead ruck Aaron Sandilands.

It will be a crucial opportunity for Meek to make his mark with fellow young ruckman Sean Darcy, who played eight games in his debut AFL season in 2017, expected to return from a minor calf injury later this pre-season.

“Lloyd has been really durable, he hasn’t missed a beat,” Lyon said.

“He’s a kid from country Victoria, he moves well, highly skilled and has a good leap on him.”

While the 105kg Meek will take more time to become accustomed to an AFL environment, Lyon says the no.69 draft pick’s imposing size will work in his favour as he develops at Freo.

Lyon said this rang true for a number of members of Fremantle’s 2017 draft crop.

“He’s a good size, he’s over 100kg already so you’re not really building him up too much,” Lyon said.

“This is reflective of a lot of our draftees this year, who have stronger bodies. If you look at (Andrew) Brayshaw, (Mitch) Crowden, (Stefan) Giro and Scott Jones.

“Lloyd should be able to acquit himself quite well. Aaron’s taken him under his wing and mentors him quite well, so he’s exciting for us, he’s a big part of our future we would think.”

Lyon said the determination of Fremantle’s first-year players was clear when they arrived at the club.

“They acquitted themselves quite well in AFLX and what we’ve noticed on the whole is, they’re a group who don’t want to waste time,” Lyon said.

“They’re here to build AFL careers, so they’re really focused on their training and in the meetings. They compete. 

“If you look at Giro and Crowden and Bailey Banfield, who comes with a bit of maturity, they seem to be driven individuals, which is half the battle. 

“They’re so demanding and you need that desire to want to make it and they seem to be showing that.

“They're quite focused which is pleasing from the coach’s end.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs