AS IF there wasn't already enough hype, in-form defender Luke Ryan's gone and likened teenage Docker Liam Henry to the great Cyril Rioli.

Henry is nearing his senior debut, having displayed his dazzling skillset – from his aerial prowess to breakneck speed and canny goal sense – in scrimmage games against other clubs.

The Next Generation Academy product was the third of Fremantle's top-10 selections last year, behind Hayden Young and Caleb Serong, after Carlton placed an unsuccessful bid on the 18-year-old.

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Class of 2019: Liam Henry

Watch out for some eye-catching goal celebrations from the Fremantle Academy prospect

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"When he first had a training session, it was like, 'This kid's going to be a star', even when he was 16 with us, or whatever he was," Ryan told reporters on Thursday.

"He played at the weekend and I'm pretty sure he played pretty well, so he's another one who'll put his hand up for selection and if he trains well, who knows, he could debut this week."

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Asked who Henry reminded Ryan of, he was initially reluctant before offering up the four-time premiership Hawk as a lofty comparison.

"He's probably just his own player, really," Ryan said.

"Maybe Cyril Rioli, I'd have to say. He's just so clean and quick, can kick on both sides of his body and he knows where the goals are, so he's pretty exciting." 

Ryan's stepped up in an undermanned Dockers defence missing Joel Hamling, Alex Pearce and Griffin Logue, but that might soon welcome usual forward Jesse Hogan into its ranks.

His support down back this year has so far included swingman Brennan Cox, Ethan Hughes and the sweet-kicking Taylin Duman.

"It's always good to have pressure on spots. We'll train today and see how he goes," Ryan said of Hogan.

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"He's one of the smartest footballers I've played with. He's so smart and switched on and knows exactly what's happening.

"He even helps me, even though he hasn't played backline yet, really, so he's really good to learn off, and really vocal and a good leader and an experienced head as well."

Fremantle's won four of its past six matches, after an 0-4 start under rookie coach Justin Longmuir, and could regain Virgin Australia AFL All Australian Michael Walters for Saturday's clash with Carlton.