They share a good old fashioned Bromance, but Fremantle coach Ross Lyon won’t let nostalgia get in his way when he locks horns with Melbourne counterpart Paul Roos for the final time on Saturday night.
Roos and Lyon formed a strong friendship during their playing days at Fitzroy, and the pair strengthened that bond while working together in coaching roles at Sydney.
But with Roos set to sail off into retirement at the end of this season, Saturday night’s AFL clash between Fremantle and Melbourne in Darwin will be the last time the friends face off against each other.
Or will it?
“Well we might both end up coaching women’s teams, so don’t put a ceiling on us,” Lyon joked.
Lyon was an assistant coach to Roos when Sydney won the premiership in 2005.
But there’ll be no room for sentiment when the pair square off this weekend.
“First and foremost I want to go up there and try to win,” said Lyon, who holds an 8-2 head-to-head advantage over Roos.
Although the Demons (6-8) are almost certain to miss the finals for a 10th straight year, Lyon was full of praise for what Roos has achieved since joining Melbourne at the end of 2013.
“He’s clearly turned that ship around at Melbourne hasn’t he,” Lyon said.
“He’s gone in and there’s been some big shifts there.
“I watched them against Adelaide (last week), and they’re a really highly competitive AFL team now, and look to win against good teams.”
Dockers midfielder Michael Barlow’s brave bid to play against the Demons has fallen just short, with Lyon saying it was too risky to select the 28-year-old just yet.
Barlow was initially expected to miss up to a month after undergoing surgery on a fractured finger last week, but a quicker-than-expected recovery had the 125-game veteran on track to return on Saturday.
However, those plans have since been put on ice.
“He needs one more week,” Lyon said.
“It was four weeks (initially), but two weeks was a bit risky.
“He was really keen. Once we weighed it all up, he was ruled out. He potentially could’ve played. So hopefully next week.”
Ruckman Jon Griffin (hamstring) and defender Garrick Ibbotson (wrist) will return from injury against the Demons.
And luckless wingman Anthony Morabito will return to WAFL ranks this weekend after recovering from an ankle injury.
Mature-age recruit Shane Yarran will also play in the WAFL despite pleading guilty in court on Thursday to one count of disorderly behaviour in public and one count of failing to obey a move-on notice.