FREMANTLE has asked the AFL to review its national Tribunal guidelines in the wake of the Josh Treacy suspension that will sideline the young forward for twice the length of his prescribed penalty.
Treacy, who booted seven goals in a practice match at the weekend and would be certain to line up for the Dockers this week if available, was banned for two games for striking while representing Peel Thunder in a WAFL pre-season hitout on March 13.
The rookie forward must wait until the WAFL season begins on April 2 to start serving his penalty at that level, however, meaning he will be unavailable at AFL level until round five.
MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list
Treacy was considered highly likely to debut in round one after an impressive pre-season, and his seven-goal haul on Saturday is compelling evidence that he would be selected at AFL level this week if available.
The Dockers had until 5pm AWST last Thursday to appeal the Tribunal decision with the WAFL but chose not to after a marathon hearing on Wednesday night, with the state league now considering the case closed.
Fremantle has since approached the AFL asking for the League to review its own guidelines, which require players to serve their ban in the competition in which they transgressed.
Under the AFL's national Tribunal guidelines, there are precedents for players serving longer than prescribed bans at one level because of competitions having different start dates.
The Dockers believes the guidelines should be reviewed and would look to resurface the Treacy case if adjustments were made by the AFL.
FREO TROUBLE Dockers facing tall crisis with youngster banned
Treacy was recruited from the Bendigo Pioneers with pick No.7 in last December's NAB AFL Rookie Draft, adding much-needed depth to the Dockers' key forward stocks.
His strike on former Docker Brady Grey, which occurred during a tackling action, was re-classified by the WAFL Tribunal to careless conduct, high contact and medium impact, carrying a two-match penalty.
If the 18-year-old remains unavailable until round five he will miss matches against Greater Western Sydney, Carlton and Hawthorn.
Key forward Rory Lobb will be sidelined with a knee injury through that period, while key defensive pair Alex Pearce (knee) and Joel Hamling (ankle) will each miss at least four weeks with fresh injuries.
The injury crisis at Fremantle is likely to open the door for an earlier-than-anticipated debut for impressive youngster Heath Chapman, who can play a variety of defensive roles.
Meanwhile, prized midfielder Adam Cerra has declared contract talks on his future will not be a distraction this season after the Dockers tabled a new four-year deal for the young gun.
2021 FREE AGENTS Check out who is up for grabs
Cerra said he would address his future "later down the track" and was focused on playing his best football after finishing third in the Dockers' best and fairest last season.
"At the moment I’m in no rush with that. My focus right now is on Sunday," Cerra said.
"That will be dealt with in time. I’ll get to that later down the track."