Michael Walters of the Dockers.
Michael Walters of the Dockers. JOE CASTRO

Freo keeps side intact for Demons clash

FREMANTLE has rewarded the rejuvenated line-up that produced a stunning upset of the reigning premiers by naming an unchanged line-up for Saturday's clash against Melbourne at the MCG.

Coach Ross Lyon has named the same 22 that surged over the Western Bulldogs in Perth last Saturday night.

The selection stance will expose second-gamers Griffin Logue and Harley Balic to their first game at the home of football, as well as upgraded rookie Brady Grey.

"You would know when you deliver on your role as a player and for the coach to say 'I'm doing this just in case this might happen', it's pretty hard to swallow. Then the trust in your relationship disappears," Lyon said.

"If you perform in any job, you'd expect to retain it. It's no different for an AFL player."

Lyon said Michael Walters would be fit to play despite the gun forward doing little at Thursday's open training session at the club's Cockburn headquarters.

"We're very confident he'll play," Lyon said.

"He's an incredibly hard worker, hardly ever misses training.

"He was just a little tight and sore still, so we availed ourselves of the opportunity that existed, which was to manage him.

"But he's pretty bubbly. He said 'what's the media doing here, what are they asking about? I'm fine'."

A serious hamstring injury that has sidelined All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn, along with suspensions to star duo Jesse Hogan and Jordan Lewis, have left Melbourne more vulnerable.

But Lyon denied the absence of the three key players made it a good time to face the finals aspirants.

"It was a good time to get the Fremantle Dockers last week too," Lyon quipped.

"Again, that's the theory of it. I've been around clubs for a long time and everyone writes down on paper the teams and thinks we should do this.

"The practicality is you've got to go out there and get it done.

"They're a fierce AFL team and from their end, their preparation would be some are saying we can't get it done without him, him and him.

"If anything, that will galvanise them and keep them really focused on the job at hand."

News Corp Australia

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