Fremantle have made two changes for Saturday’s crucial clash with Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.
Defender Evie Gooch has been cleared to return after her late omission against the Western Bulldogs due to a minor calf injury. She replaces Laura Pugh (omitted) in the line-up.
Ashlee Atkins will also return, coming in for forward Kellie Gibson, who has been ruled out with concussion.
Gibson kicked three goals against the Bulldogs and AFLW Senior coach Trent Cooper said he is confident in Atkins’ ability to fill the void.
“We have one forced change with Kellie, she had a head clash right at the end of the game last week and she’s showed some signs of concussion. With a six-day break, we won’t be taking any risks with her,” Cooper said.
“Ashlee will come in to take her spot as she was good for us in the early part of the year, so that’s an easy change.”
Cooper said that defender Ange Stannett had made a quick recovery from hamstring tightness in round five.
“I didn’t hold a lot of hope for her getting up this week after the game on Sunday,” Cooper said.
She’s pulled up well and has progressed really quickly, so we’re hopeful she’ll be out there against Geelong.”
Cooper said that Fremantle face a tough test against the high-flying Cats, who sit on top of Conference B and convincingly beat Brisbane away from home in round five.
Fremantle sit third in Conference A behind Adelaide and North Melbourne on percentage, with a win against Geelong crucial for Freo’s top-two hopes.
“The girls are embracing it, we’re loving the cutthroat nature of it and we look forward to heading over there,” Cooper said.
“It’s a long road trip from here, Geelong are a side that is improving quickly.
“They’re an expansion side but they have a relatively old list but with some young players in there.
“They’re just starting to gel really nicely and had a convincing win against Brisbane last week. It will be a really good assignment to take them on at GMHBA Stadium.”
The clash commences at 2.35pm (11.35am WST) and will be broadcast live on Channel 7 and Fox Footy.
TEAM v GEELONG
Backs: Leah Mascall, Tayla Bresland, Ange Stannett
Half backs: Alex Williams, Ebony Antonio, Philipa Seth
Centre: Kiara Bowers
Half forwards: Gabby O’Sullivan, Ashley Sharp, Hayley Miller
Forwards: Kara Donnellan, Gemma Houghton, Sabreena Duffy
Ruck/Followers: Parris Laurie, Dana Hooker, Stephanie Cain
Interchange: Evie Gooch, Alicia Janz, Ashlee Atkins, Matilda Sergeant, Mel Caulfield
Emergencies: Laura Pugh, Katie-Jayne Grieve