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Youth locked in for Power, Hill a chance

'Our list is resilient' - Lyon Ross Lyon spoke to the media ahead of the Port Adelaide clash on Saturday.

Fremantle are looking to their younger ranks to replace injured stars Alex Pearce and Rory Lobb, with Sean Darcy and Griffin Logue set to make their returns to the line-up against Port Adelaide, according to senior coach Ross Lyon.

Lyon said that bringing in Darcy for Lobb in the ruck was a ‘no-brainer’ for Saturday’s clash at Optus Stadium and said Logue would also return providing they get through training on Thursday afternoon.

“At this stage, Darcy will come in (for Lobb), we think it’s a no-brainer,” Lyon said.

“He’s available, he’s keen, he’s fit. He lost his spot in the team and he was working hard and then he hurt himself. He’s trained on and he looks really good. It’s a big challenge.

“It’s next man in really. The likelihood is that Griffin Logue will come in. I can say that confidently as long as he gets through the session. Griffin’s been told he’ll play."

Lyon added that star midfielder Stephen Hill remained in the mix for selection while Harley Bennell was set to play his third consecutive week for Peel. 

“Harley is definitely going to play for Peel unless dramatic things happen on the track, so he won’t train with the group this afternoon. He’s got an individually designed program that’s working for him,” Lyon said.

“Stephen Hill will be in the squad as we see it and we’ll take it from there from training. 

“(Hill’s) basically available, we’ve got to make a decision. We’re playing pretty good football and we have good availability. It’s very difficult just to bring someone in, and we’ve had people playing well for Peel.

“Really, if we’ve got full availability and nothing changes, (Hill) won’t play, but as always things happen on the track in the last session.

"So he’ll be in the squad but we need to get through that last session.”

Hill last played for Fremantle in round 20 of the 2018 season against West Coast, missing the first half of the season due to a quad injury. 

Lyon said that it was exciting to see Hill fit and available for selection again.

“He is a special player. He’s a strong contributor, a really good leader at the club,” Lyon said.

“You’re allowed your favourites as a coach, I said to Bradley Hill and ‘Sonny’ (Michael Walters) that he’s my third favourite after those two!

“It is tempting (to pick Hill) but again there’s rigour around selection, it’s something that’s earned and he’s had an incredibly frustrating time. I just can’t believe that he’s available for selection as it’s been so long. 

“Whether he’s playing for the seniors or at Peel, it’s exciting for the club and for him. He’s had a really rough road and I’m sure Bradley would love - it was one of the main reasons to come back was to play with Stephen. It’s an exciting time for us.”

Lyon said that Fremantle would not dwell on the loss of Pearce and Lobb and are looking forward to taking on the Power in a crucial battle for the top eight.

Saturday’s clash will be a Kids Day Out at Optus Stadium. When you purchase one level five Adult GA ticket through Ticketmaster you can get up to four free junior tickets. 

Click here to get your tickets now!

Only two percentage points separate the teams on the ladder, with the Power in eighth and Freo in ninth.

“Really it’s won and lost in the midfield and we’ve got full availability through there,” Lyon said.

“We’re really confident with our system and our effort. We’ve been in every game, we’ve been really consistent and we’re playing Port Adelaide, who come in good form, they had a good win over here against the Eagles earlier in the season. 

“(Optus Stadium) holds no fear for them. Both teams are confident in their systems and their effort. I think it’s going to be a great game, a really exciting game.”

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