AAP AFL

Dockers to keep backing young mids in AFL

By AAP Newswire

Fremantle want Michael Walters to provide much-needed polish in attack when he returns to bolster their chances of a third straight AFL win against Carlton on Saturday night.

The Dockers' young midfield brigade has been outstanding in the last two rounds, with high-end draft picks Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong and Adam Cerra leading the charge.

Their hot form has coincided with Nat Fyfe spending more time in attack and Walters sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Brayshaw was best afield with a career-best 33 disposals in the last-start win over Hawthorn and Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir will continue to back in his young guns.

"We feel like our mix in the midfield has been getting it done in the last few weeks and that's creating more opportunities for our forwards," Longmuir said.

"Fyfey's really adapted to playing more forward, we've loved his attitude towards that challenge, and Sonny (Walters) is no different.

"He'll split his time and we see him adding something to our midfield, but we're still lacking that final bit to our game, which is finishing off our good work.

"We got the ball in our forward line a bit more (against Hawthorn) last week but we just didn't hit the scoreboard enough.

"We think he (Walters) adds a lot of polish."

Carlton coach David Teague says it's crucial his side limits the Fremantle forwards' supply and is wary of tall targets Matt Taberner and Rory Lobb.

The Dockers duo currently rank among the competition's best contested marks and present a huge test for Blues defenders Jacob Weitering and Liam Jones.

"We want to get the game played in our (forward) half and we'll bring our strong pressure to support our backs and make sure the ball coming in is pressured," Teague said.

"I'll back those guys in to get the job done against their opponents.

"They've both been quite strong in the air."

Carlton re-gain Harry McKay from a knee injury and have called up Josh Honey for his debut, with Jack Martin (calf) and Marc Pittonet (finger) unavailable.

Fremantle named exciting prospect Liam Henry as an emergency as he awaits a senior debut and Jesse Hogan will have to force his way into the side with form in scratch matches.

The key position player will feature at both ends in a small-sided reserves hit-out against the Blues on Saturday.