FREMANTLE won't use its rapidly emerging depth to flirt with form against Gold Coast on Sunday as coach Justin Longmuir concedes he faces a selection squeeze with up to six players returning from health and safety protocols.
The second-placed Dockers' depth across all lines was put on show against North Melbourne last Friday, with Rory Lobb, Blake Acres and Griffin Logue among those available to return.
Travis Colyer, Michael Frederick and Lloyd Meek also trained with the main group on Thursday after missing one match in health and safety protocols and will put their hands up for selection.
Longmuir said there had been several in-form players missing out at selection during the Dockers' six-game winning run, but that would not prompt them to rest anyone at this point of the season.
"I think that’s flirting with form a little bit, both individually and as a team," the coach said.
"Naturally we’ve managed to rest players through the weeks missed with COVID … so that’s probably where we’ll leave it.
"Bringing six guys back, it’s going to be tough. It’s a bit of a juggling act and we’ll have to work through that after training."
Longmuir forecast the possibility of selecting a taller forward line if Lobb returns, which would allow impressive draftee Jye Amiss to hold his spot after booting two goals on debut.
Important defender Luke Ryan is also managing a sore ankle and trained lightly on Thursday away from the main group, potentially opening a spot for Logue to return.
"He’s a little bit slower than what we would have liked, but we’ve got a nine-day break and we’ve still got a fair bit of time between now and game day," Longmuir said of Ryan.
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"We’ll give him every opportunity to come up. He’s a really important player for us and a leader of our backline.
"It hasn’t improved as quickly as we would have liked but that’s normal when you roll your ankle for the first time.
"We’ve got a backline that probably has eight or nine players that could easily play in it on the weekend, but there’s only seven spots. We’ll need to work out what our best fit looks like this week."
Former Gold Coast midfielder Will Brodie will line up against his former club for the first time this week having reinvigorated his career as a bargain pick-up at the Dockers.
His ninth game for the season will set a new career-high, with the 23-year-old averaging 27 disposals and 5.7 clearances as a key member of the Dockers' midfield.
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"He’s a pretty casual, cool customer. I’m sure the nerves will be there come game day, but our conversations have been around making sure he keeps resetting to what helps him play well," Longmuir said.
"He’s been a great addition for our footy club both on and off the field. I’m excited for him going up against his old team … he’s done a fantastic job for us."