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Sylvia suffering Freo demons
The West Australian High-profile recruit Colin Sylvia faces an uphill battle to win selection for Fremantle's season opener against Collingwood after the club emerged unscathed from its first competitive hit-out of the year.

High-profile recruit Colin Sylvia faces an uphill battle to win selection for Fremantle's season opener against Collingwood after the club emerged unscathed from its first competitive hit-out of the year.

The former Melbourne forward played off a wing and in the centre square during yesterday's intraclub match at Patersons Stadium.

Sylvia frequently missed targets by foot and struggled at time with his work-rate across the ground. The showing comes after several hiccups over the summer, with Sylvia told to improve his conditioning and training away from the main group for much of the pre-season.

Fremantle stoppages coach Mark Stone pointed out that Sylvia, 28, was coming off a limited pre-season.

"Colin had a couple of small setbacks during the course of the pre-season and so he's into his second full week of training essentially," Stone said.

"We managed him a little bit with his position (and) where he played, but we were really pleased with him."

Sixteen of Fremantle's 22 players from last year's grand final had their first competitive run for 2014, with a clear A-side led by Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy and Nat Fyfe in the first half.

Stone said the club had got through the contest without any injuries in a game played in eight-minute blocks to cater for the heat and the small size of both interchange benches.

He said Scott Gumbleton, who had a relatively quiet game as he pushed his own selection claims, was still finding his way among his teammates.

The 26-year-old started in attack alongside Pavlich and impressed early with his tackling and defensive pressure.

Notable Dockers missing from the scratch match included Ryan Crowley, Nick Suban and Cameron Sutcliffe, with Stone saying the trio had missed after coming off a shortened week of training.

Chris Mayne, Zac Clarke and Tendai Mzungu are still recovering from minor injuries and were not risked.

Several of Fremantle's youngsters made an early case for senior selection. Rookie-listed tall Tom Vandeleur, who spent time in attack, impressed with a running goal and took several strong contested marks, including one against experienced defender Paul Duffield.

Stone also praised developing midfielders Hayden Crozier and Tom Sheridan, with Crozier kicking 1.1.

Max Duffy and Matt Taberner both booted two goals.