Nat Fyfe is set to make his AFL return after a successful trial run in the WAFL, with the Fremantle captain firming to play his first game of the 2022 season against Hawthorn this Saturday at Optus Stadium.

Senior Coach Justin Longmuir hopes to stick to the plan of having Fyfe play one game in the WAFL before making his AFL return.

Fyfe had 24 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s for Peel against Subiaco on Saturday as the Thunder ran out six-point winners at Leederville Oval.

“We’re pretty confident he’ll be right to come back into the team this week,” Longmuir told AFL 360.

“My conversations with him, and my thoughts in the back of my mind all along, was that he only needed one game and I don’t think anything will change from watching him on the weekend.

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“I thought it was the right decision (returning through the WAFL). Watching him, he was a little bit rusty early on and as expected and he expected, he built into the game really well.

“I think he gained a lot of confidence out of that, not just in his footy ability and getting back to his best there, I think he got a lot of confidence out of his body as well.

“He took some big hits in that game and got up after each of them and shrugged them off and got on with the business. He will take a lot of belief out of that game.”

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Longmuir reiterated that Fyfe would play a balance of midfield and forward, with the coaching group to work on how that looks throughout the week.

“It’s about getting him back to what he does best and making sure we get the balance right with the role right that allows him to go to work at stoppage and then spend some time forward and bring his aerial into the game,” Longmuir said.

“We’ll keep working on that balance throughout the week and he’ll get his first crack at it this weekend.”

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