UPDATE: Fremantle's match committee has held players accountable for the team's disappointing AFL form by dumping three Dockers for the clash with Richmond at the MCG tomorrow.
Ruckman Zac Clarke, defender Paul Duffield and forward Jack Anthony have been axed as the Dockers strive to climb from a slump under new coach Ross Lyon.
However, experienced midfielder Adam McPhee was on the team's flight to Melbourne yesterday and will return following recovery from a calf muscle injury.Dockers football manager Chris Bond indicated Fremantle’s changes were the result of three losses on the trot as well as balance.
“Our last few weeks, we haven’t been able to get the job done,” he said.
“If you break it down, Hawthorn was a poor four-quarter effort. Against West Coast, the first two quarters were the type of footy we want to play but we fell off really badly.
“Last weekend (against Adelaide), there was some really good football played and really good commitment by our players but the second quarter and towards the end of the game really hurt us.
“We have got to reward players who are doing the right thing and committing themselves week in and week out to play the style of footy that Ross (Lyon) and the match committee want.
“Nick is somebody we certainly think is in our best 22 when he is fit and available, and he went back to WAFL level and we are quite happy with his form. He has averaged a fair bit of the ball and he has been able to get inside as well at WAFL level. Now, all of a sudden he is a player we think we can use in a variety of roles.”
McPhee will be monitored this morning to make sure he has overcome a calf problem that sidelined him for three games.
“He was quite important to our back six when he played,” Bond said.“He was able to play on some small forwards. He played some really consistent footy for us. He gives us that experience.“We are in against an in-form team, we are against a team that has some fantastic midfield players, some dominant players, and are scoring really well at the moment.“We just have to make sure our balance is right and our match-ups are right.”Fremantle took 24 players on the trip east yesterday. Nick Suban and Jon Griffin, who will be a direct swap for Clarke, joined McPhee as the additions.Jayden Pitt and Kepler Bradley also travelled but were listed as emergencies.Richmond recalled Matt Dea and promoted Brett O'Hanlon for his first match.Nathan Foley (leg) was overlooked as was the suspended Jake King.