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Dockers confirm Bennell for pre-season clash

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AFL 2016 Portraits - Fremantle
Harley Bennell will play in the Dockers' final NAB Challenge game
We're getting a number of players back
Ross Lyon

FREMANTLE recruit Harley Bennell is set for a pre-season hit-out, with coach Ross Lyon confirming the former Sun would face Geelong on March 12. 

Lyon said skipper David Mundy, ruckman Zac Clarke, Bennell and youngster Alex Pearce would play in the final NAB Challenge game. 

"We didn't play very well at the weekend (in the two-point win over Adelaide), but we've basically come out of it unscathed," Lyon said on Thursday 

"Certainly (Michael) Johnson and (Zac) Dawson who played a half, and Pavlich, we'll look to play them full games. 

"Alex Pearce will return as well. We're getting a number of players back."

Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) and Darcy Tucker (knee) have both been training following injuries in the club's first NAB Challenge game against Richmond.

Lyon said players who were coming into the season off limited preparation could also play in the first round of the WAFL, the week before round one.  

The Dockers made a shock announcement at their 2016 season launch on Thursday, revealing Lyon had signed a three-year contract extension to remain at the club until the end of 2020. 

Lyon was contracted until the end of 2017 but both he and Dockers' chief executive Steve Rosich said it was an easy decision to extend the deal. 

The master coach said he was not resting on his laurels. 

"My immediate focus is tomorrow's training session and to go and watch West Coast tonight and Gold Coast, because we play them in rounds two and three," he said.

"I'll fly to Melbourne and watch the Bulldogs.

"I'm in the process of staying in the moment and working hard."

He said the Dockers had come out of their second NAB Challenge match against Adelaide without any injury concerns after veteran Matthew Pavlich and Clancee Pearce were rested in the second half due to tightness.