Derby omissions point to a focus on skills for Fremantle in 2020

Fyfe and Walters return after missing last week’s clash against Carlton due to participation in the bushfire fundraising game and Fremantle fans will no doubt rejoice in the sight of Hill running around against the Eagles after managing only three games in 2019 due to an ongoing quad injury.

Matera, 27, was a regular in Lyon’s side last year, playing 20 games and kicking 30 goals including a haul of five against the Bulldogs in Perth in round six.

But the Gold Coast recruit’s forward pressure was almost non-existent, averaging just two tackles and one tackle inside 50 per game, while his disposal efficiency was 61 per cent and his accuracy in front of goal in need of improvement.

Blakely, 24, averaged almost 20 disposals mainly from defence once he returned from injury to the Dockers side in round nine last season after spending much of his formative years for Swan Districts in the WAFL as an inside midfielder.

His disposal efficiency was a much more respectable 73 per cent last season and 77 per cent in 2018, when he averaged 24 disposals in another injury-interrupted season that yielded just 13 games.

A fit and firing Blakely seems a lock in any best 22 Fremantle side, so time will soon tell whether the number 34 draft pick from 2014 has been demoted to work on other areas of his defensive game or if his omission is a sign the Dockers are looking to use him elsewhere, or not at all in 2020.

The 188cm defender is capable of finding the ball, amassing 30 possessions on four occasions in 2018 before a knee injury struck.

Longmuir will likely rotate Tucker through the midfield along with the improving Andrew Brayshaw, rookie Caleb Serong and Mitch Crowden, who have been named on the bench alongside Bailey Banfield, Ethan Hughes, Tobe Watson, Hugh Dixon and Travis Colyer.

Bouncedown for the clash is 4.10pm and the game will be broadcast live on streaming channels.

Western Derby teams for the pre-season clash at HBF Arena on Saturday.


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