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Bradley Hill returns to “fit and available team”

Bradley Hill will play against Port Adelaide on Saturday. - Bradley Hill,Fremantle,Fremantle Dockers
Bradley Hill will play against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Senior coach Ross Lyon was pleased to have the ability to select from the majority of Fremantle’s 44-man squad as the team headed to Adelaide on Thursday afternoon.

Lyon confirmed that Doig Medallist Bradley Hill had recovered from a minor quadricep injury and will face the Power on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.

“Bradley trained so he’ll play, so that’s really good for us,” Lyon said.

“He had that slight quad, he’s come through that and trained really well today. 

“He’s had a great summer and he should be fresh and ready to go, so we’re really pleased.”

Lyon believes Fremantle's game-style has improved during the pre-season and the team will be better equipped to face the Power after a heavy early-season loss to Port in 2017.

“Senior experience helps but we were quite experienced last year and didn’t get it done,” Lyon said.

“We feel like we’re playing a better brand of footy. It’s still a formidable challenge but we’re excited to go and test ourselves.

“We felt in the JLT we grew a bit and (round one) is a bigger challenge and the intensity will be right up with a roaring crowd, but mental toughness is responding to challenge so we want to respond well.”

Lyon also highlighted that Fremantle was going with a mix of youth and experience, debuting two new draftees in Andrew Brayshaw and Bailey Banfield, while 22-year-old Alex Pearce will play his first AFL game for 672 days since breaking his leg in round nine, 2016.

“We have two debutants in there, Luke Ryan is a second-year player, Darcy Tucker’s going and (Connor) Blakely, (Ed) Langdon and Alex Pearce,” Lyon said.

“Our senior players are in really good form, so it’s a very strong team. 

“We’ll debut (new recruits) Nathan Wilson and Brandon Matera as well, so there’s eight different players from that team last year and it’s a different brand. 

“We’re really excited but the senior heads, they need to stand up and bring our younger players through and we’re really looking forward to seeing if we can get that done.

“It’s a very fit and available team, we’d like to think we’ve grown but talk’s cheap - we’re match fit and we’re ready to go.”

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