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Farewell games on the cards

afl.com.au  July 11, 2018 3:14 PM

Ross Lyon addressed the media on Wednesday.

Senior coach Ross Lyon says Fremantle will consider farewell games for veteran players Michael Johnson and Danyle Pearce later in the season.

The duo have made way for youth this year, with Johnson spending the past four games at Peel and 258-game midfielder Pearce only making three AFL appearances.

"We did it (farewell game) with Matthew Pavlich, and they've been incredibly good servants for the club,” Lyon said.

"Michael Johnson, we could argue, is our greatest Aboriginal player, so that's something we'll get to.

"As a caring football club, that should be on our agenda."

Johnson was Peel's best player against WAFL powerhouse Subiaco last Friday night, picking up 20 touches and taking nine marks in an under-siege defence.

However, Fremantle’s youth policy means it is unlikely the 239-gamer will be in the mix to face Port Adelaide on Sunday, despite the club's lengthy injury list.

Lyon had several chats with Harley Bennell during Wednesday's training session but thought he was more unlikely than likely to make his long-awaited return in the clash with the Power. 

Bennell has made seven appearances of varying game time for the Thunder and is on the verge of pulling on a purple guernsey for only the third time since his 2015 trade from Gold Coast.

Lyon said in "an ideal world" Fremantle want Bennell to be capable of playing midfield minutes upon his comeback.

"The sports scientists come with their progressions, which I don't want to go into detail, but we're hamstrung by that," he said. 

"It's conservative. He (Bennell) said he's feeling really good, moving really well, he's really focused.

"You're talking about him because we know the potential but, again, I'd like the potential to be delivered over six years and not six weeks.

"We're happy for the noise around Harley and we're happy that we're talking about his football.

"We need to pick him at the right time when he's fit and in form, and there's probably a little bit to go there."  

Fremantle will be forced into one change after losing Andrew Brayshaw (groin) following their loss to Melbourne.

Cam McCarthy could return to provide a target in attack, but Lyon revealed there wouldn't wholesale changes.

"I don't know if you've got kids, but do you judge your son by their success or failures, or their effort?" he said.

"I tend to judge them by their effort. You don't really want to define them by success or failure.

"Our effort overall was pretty strong.

"I saw the hurt in the players' eyes afterwards. We had nine players 25 (games) and under.

"There's always going to be some pain where we're at, that's just realistic.

"We need to get back on the horse and go again."

Lyon confirmed goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne (calf) wouldn't be available this round, while ruckman Aaron Sandilands (calf) was back running on Wednesday and is two to three weeks away.

However, tall defender Griffin Logue might not be seen again this year after his ankle setback.

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