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Bradley Hill ‘coming on quickly’

FREMANTLE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 23: Bradley Hill  during the Fremantle Dockers team photo day at the Cockburn Aquatic and Recreation Centre on January 23, 2018 in Fremantle Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Bradley Hill remains hopeful of being on the plane for Fremantle’s season opener against Port Adelaide.

Reigning Doig Medallist Bradley Hill remains hopeful of being on the plane for Fremantle’s season opener against Port Adelaide after straining a quad at training last week.

However the club has ruled classy midfielder Stephen Hill out of round one while Harley Bennell won't play for Peel this Saturday.

Senior coach Ross Lyon addressed the media following Fremantle’s AFL Season Launch at Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on Tuesday morning, where Bradley Hill declared his expectation to be fit and available for selection. 

"Bradley Hill's coming along a lot quicker as evidenced by what he said on the stage (today), so that's pretty exciting," Lyon said.

"But on the back of our JLT2 (win over West Coast), a lot of people have picked themselves and put a lot of pressure on match committee."

Stephen Hill is "a definite miss" for the Power clash after failing to play a pre-season match due to quad and calf issues.

"Hopefully (he'll play) round two. He was slow with a calf, it was unusual for him, he normally moves through," Lyon said.

"He was just getting some little spasms in there, but that's cleared up."

 Bennell is still building to a return to football with Fremantle remaining patient the talented midfielder.

"He's running and moving, so he's just going to have to build up, which is obviously disappointing but it's the sort of the trend we're in," Lyon said.

"Between Harley, our medical and 'S and C' (strength and conditioning), we've got to find a solution because once we do, we know we've got a very good player. 

"It's a tough period, but he's held himself. He needs to continue to button down."

Lyon said that No.2 NAB AFL Draft pick Andrew Brayshaw and rookie bolter Bailey Banfield are both "very much in the mix" for round one after impressive transitions into League ranks. 

The duo is among the 22 new faces Fremantle have brought in over the past two off-seasons.

With Fremantle two drafts into transitioning the playing list, Lyon implored to the club's partners to enjoy the journey as Freo enter the second full year of their rebuild.

"The real enjoyment, we're aiming strategically to win a premiership and move to be consistently in the finals, but you just don't want to jump on the end," he said.

"The real joy comes from what you've seen from Richmond and the Bulldogs - years of toil and a rebuild - eight years for the Tigers, six years for the Bulldogs.

"If you've been part of the hard yards, you see the players grow. Luke Dahlhaus started in 2011 when they (Bulldogs) fell off the cliff, and he plays in it (a premiership) in 2016.

"Enjoy the process and hard work.

 "There's no guarantee, but we're after the fruits of our labour."

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