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Freo speedster out, Harley still sputtering

Danger's wait, Dees hungry, Hill out Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson with all the latest football news
Stephen Hill is a confirmed out for Fremantle's round one clash with Port - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Ross Lyon,Harley Bennell,Stephen Hill,Bradley Hill,Andrew Brayshaw,Bailey Banfield
Stephen Hill is a confirmed out for Fremantle's round one clash with Port
We've got to find a solution because once we do, we know we've got a very good player
Ross Lyon on Harley Bennell

FREMANTLE has ruled classy midfielder Stephen Hill out of round one while Harley Bennell won't play for Peel this Saturday, with the Dockers still searching for answers to his injury woes after another calf setback.

However, reigning club champion Bradley Hill remains hopeful of being on the plane for the season opener against Port Adelaide after straining a quad at training last week. 

"Brad Hill's coming along a lot quicker as evidenced by what he said on the stage (today), so that's pretty exciting," coach Ross Lyon said at the club's season launch. 

"But on the back of our JLT2 (62-point win over West Coast), a lot of people have picked themselves and put a lot of pressure on match committee."

Veteran crumber's form surge thrills Lyon

Stephen Hill is "a definite miss" for the Power clash after failing to play a pre-season match due to quad and calf issues. 

"Hopefully (he'll play) round two. He was slow with a calf, it was unusual for him, he normally moves through," Lyon said. 

"He was just getting some little spasms in there, but that's cleared up."

Bennell strained a calf on February 15 while serving his club-imposed suspension and the ex-Gold Coast star is still in rehabilitation.

The 25-year-old's return date remains unclear with the Dockers still looking into the calf issues that ruined his first two years at the club. 

"He's running and moving, so he's just going to have to build up, which is obviously disappointing but it's the sort of the trend we're in," Lyon said.

"Between Harley, our medical and 'S and C' (strength and conditioning), we've got to find a solution because once we do, we know we've got a very good player. 

"It's a tough period, but he's held himself. He needs to continue to button down."

Lyon declared that No.2 NAB AFL Draft pick Andrew Brayshaw and rookie bolter Bailey Banfield are both "very much in the mix" for round one after impressive transitions into League ranks.

The duo is among the 22 new faces the Dockers have brought in over the past two off-seasons. 

While Freo has ambitions to play finals in 2018, Lyon implored to the club's partners to enjoy the journey as the Dockers enter the second full year of their rebuild. 

"The real enjoyment, we're aiming strategically to win a premiership and move to be consistently in the finals, but you just don't want to jump on the end," he said. 

"The real joy comes from what you've seen from Richmond and the Bulldogs - years of toil and a rebuild - eight years for the Tigers, six years for the Bulldogs.

"If you've been part of the hard yards, you see the players grow. Luke Dahlhaus started in 2011 when they (Bulldogs) fell off the cliff, and he plays in it (a premiership) in 2016. 

"Enjoy the process and hard work. 

"There's no guarantee, but we're after the fruits of our labour."