newsCO.com.au –Ross Lyon flags quick return for banned Docker Connor Blakely

July 5, 2017

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has flagged a likely immediate return for Connor Blakely to the senior line-up in the wake of completing a club-imposed suspension.

Blakely, 21, sat out all football on the weekend on the orders of Dockers officials after choosing to leave club commitments early last week to head south for a surfing trip.

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The indiscretion came less than 48 hours after the announcement that Blakely had signed a two-year contract extension.

Blakely has been one of Fremantle’s best players this season, averaging 24 disposals in his third year on the club’s list.

Lyon said the emerging midfielder was available for Sunday’s clash against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium as he took a veiled swipe at the off-field turmoil that derailed cross-town rivals West Coast last decade.

“I’m not going to conduct selection here,” Lyon said.

“That’s not fair on anyone to do match committee here, but he’s clearly available.

Dockers boss Ross Lyon
Dockers boss Ross LyonPicture: newsCO

“He (Blakely) needs to train today, he needs to train Friday.

“You would think it’s more likely because he was in good form, but he learned some lessons out of it.

“As a club, we take a step forward.

“You just can’t be ruled by performance game day. There’s strong history throughout the league within this State if you just measure your club on what you deliver game day, you can end up in trouble down the track. We all know that.

“When the garment starts to fray a little bit, as gentle as that was, you need to commit to some preparation and some standards otherwise what do you stand for? Nothing.”

Lyon flagged both Matt Taberner and Shane Kersten would come under consideration to replace a suspended Cam McCarthy in attack.

Stephen Hill failed to train this morning in freezing conditions at the club’s Cockburn base, leaving doubts over his fitness.

Lyon gave first-year player Griffin Logue a clip for his involvement in the 50m penalty late in Sunday’s nine-point loss to St Kilda at Domain Stadium while defending the role of his former skipper Nick Riewoldt.

Nick Riewoldt cheekily called for the ball despite not being awarded the mark.

Logue threw the ball back to Riewoldt only for the Saints star, who had called to get possession, to baulk away and successfully earn his team the 50m penalty.

Tim Membrey booted a critical goal from point-blank range as a result.

“I didn’t think much about Nick, but I thought a fair bit about Griffin, that he needs to sharpen up and understand the rules and become a pro,” Lyon said.

“I thought it was professional (from Riewoldt).

“I’m not going to label it. I just think the rules are the rules. Know the rules, play to the rules and if you play within the rules, you’re fine aren’t you?”

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