Dockers still on edge at selection front

Fremantle defender Lee Spurr says he and his teammates are still on edge before selection each week despite the AFL club’s lengthy injury list.

The Dockers have been ravaged by injuries all year, with their casualty ward containing 14 players.

Stars such as Nat Fyfe, Michael Johnson, Harley Bennell, and Aaron Sandilands are among the wounded, with their absence giving the club’s emerging players a chance to shine.

But coach Ross Lyon has still made several brutal calls on the selection front, dropping the likes of Michael Barlow, Zac Dawson, and Garrick Ibbotson at various points this year.

Spurr said all players were on notice irrespective of their past feats at the club..

“You never feel safe in your position regardless of who you are – whether you’re captain or a first-game player,” Spurr said.

“I think there’s no safe spot. You never really feel that comfortable.

“We’ve seen players come and go, but how they respond is the most important thing.”

Barlow became the biggest-name casualty when he was axed following the club’s round-seven loss to GWS.

The 28-year-old responded with two standout performances in the WAFL, before following that up with a string of hot displays for the Dockers.

Last week, Barlow played the greatest game of his career when he tallied 43 disposals, nine clearances, eight tackles and two goals in the 17-point win over Port Adelaide.

“He stayed really positive and came back in and just tweaked his role a bit,” Spurr said of Barlow, who has flourished as a tagger in the past three weeks.

“And now he’s really contributing to the team in the vein that he wants to and the team wants him to. I think it’s really good for the side.”

Fremantle will be aiming to make it four wins on the trot when they take on Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night.

Dockers forward Matthew Pavlich might be rested for the match in a bid to keep him fresh for the rest of the season.

Forward Tanner Smith will miss the match after injuring his hamstring last week.

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