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Lyon flags six changes

Ross Lyon says that Fremantle will make six changes to their lineup this weekend. Ross Lyon says that Harley Balic will make his AFL debut this weekend.

Senior coach Ross Lyon says that Fremantle will make six changes, including two debutants to the starting 22 to face the Western Bulldogs on Saturday at Domain Stadium.

In his weekly media conference on Thursday afternoon, Lyon said that new draftee Griffin Logue and second year player Harley Balic would be among Fremantle’s inclusions alongside Tommy Sheridan, Hayden Crozier, Ethan Hughes and Brady Grey.

The no.8 pick at the 2016 NAB AFL National Draft, Logue has shown steady progress with his appearance in the JLT Community Series and three WAFL games for Peel.

On Saturday against South Fremantle, the 18-year-old defender picked up 18 disposals and seven marks while playing in the backline.

Balic, who came to Fremantle via pick 38 in the 2015 National Draft, has impressed for Peel. The 20-year-old on-baller leads the WAFL in disposals with 92 from the opening three rounds.

Lyon said he was looking forward to testing both Balic and Logue against the reigning premiers.

“From our six changes we have two debutants who we’re really excited about,” Lyon said.

“We think it will give us some real enthusiasm, and we still set ourselves as a strong team on the paddock - we have a formidable opponent who is coming over to play us.

“It’s exciting. In particular for Logue and Balic as our debutants, but also for Ethan Hughes who has only played a couple games and Grey, Crozier and Sheridan who also get an opportunity.

“Tommy’s been carrying himself well in waiting for his opportunity, which he gets now.”

In Logue and Balic, Lyon says Fremantle get two talented footballers with plenty of room to grow.

“There’s real upside in all of those players,” Lyon said.

“Peel plays in a similar fashion, so they should be able to come in and execute their role.

“Balic’s an inside mid, a big boy, big mid and wins the ball well and is strong overhead.

“He’s got some really good repeat sprints in him.

“Logue’s an explosive 194cm running back, so he can play tall and small.

“We’ve only got upside haven’t we? There’s real growth in him, but he’ll compete, roll off and explode and he’ll play against some real quality (opponents) and will get to learn.”

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