Hawthorn great Leigh Matthews is expecting Fremantle to create history by winning tomorrow's grand final at the MCG, describing the Dockers midfielders as "giants".
Minor premiers Hawthorn were installed as favourites shortly after Fremantle advanced to the grand final with their demolition of Sydney last Saturday night and were at $1.70 with the TAB last night.
But Matthews said he had been unbelievably impressed with the Dockers in their two finals victories, against Geelong and the Swans.
"And that's all that matters, September," the four-times Hawthorn premiership hero told Melbourne radio station 3AW last night.
Matthews said he believed the Dockers would enjoy a huge advantage in the centre-square battle, with ruckmen Aaron Sandilands (211cm) and Zac Clarke (203cm) working well alongside imposing midfielders David Mundy (192cm), Nat Fyfe (190cm), Michael Barlow (189cm) and Ryan Crowley (188cm).
They will be up against Hawthorn's Max Bailey (206cm), David Hale (201cm), Jordan Lewis (186cm), Luke Hodge (185cm), Brad Sewell (181cm) and Sam Mitchell (179cm).
"The need for size and power has gone to a whole new level because they, fair dinkum, are giants," Matthews said of Fremantle's midfield.
"They have just been dominating the centre square. That is the scary thing for Hawthorn. How do you match this huge, powerful centre-square squad?"
Mundy said he wasn't conscious of the size advantage.
"It might affect the way that we play, just getting hard after the ball and driving through stoppages and stuff like that," he said.
"Whenever I hear people talk about Fremantle's big-bodied midfield I always think, 'Oh no, we are going to get done on the spread'.
"There is always a positive and a negative."
Mundy said the main strength of Fremantle's midfield was the way it worked together.
"When one goes missing or has a quiet day a few stand up and really drive the group," he said.
"The strength of the Fremantle midfield is our spread and how even we are across the board. We don't have one superstar or one or two stars that we rely upon."
The Dockers received a boost yesterday when Chris Mayne (back), Michael Johnson (calf) and Luke McPharlin (calf and groin) joined their teammates for the squad's final training session before heading to Melbourne.Fremantle did not make any changes to last week's line-up, while Hawthorn made one from their win over Geelong, replacing Brendan Whitecross (knee) with Jonathan Simpkin.
RT @AFLPlayers: The story of a Swan, Two Giants & a sandgroper http://t.co/ONaLGdXncB #afl #40years #lifemembers
"@kaneblocko7: @Hayden_ballas @bennywright12 congrats uncle, have no credit couldn't reply. Do people still have phones with credit uncle?
RT @HippocreekPerth: Good to see the @Fremantle_FC having a feed at our Waterford tavern! Good luck this season boys!! http://t.co/XZyN5ar8…
@BasilZempilas @PeterBell6PR @mattpav29 @NewsTalk6PR I highly doubt that is the order in which you want us onboard baz ;)
New recruit pushes the limits http://t.co/tJElO8CXUv #gofreo #ownthemoment
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