The West

Dockers don t have discipline problem
Dockers don't have discipline problem

Fremantle defender Michael Johnson insists there is not a discipline problem at the club, despite another one of his teammates being cited by the match review panel today.

Young ruckman Zac Clarke was this morning offered a reprimand with an early guilty plea for a stray elbow which connected with Geelong star Steve Johnson during the Dockers’ 32-point win over Geelong at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

Clarke joins Johnson, Nat Fyfe, Zac Dawson, Paul Duffield and Hayden Ballantyne as players to have caught the eye of the MRP this season, with several other players reported at WAFL level while playing for Peel Thunder.

Injured forward Michael Walters also received a reprimand during the pre-season, while Chris Mayne has carryover points from last year’s qualifying final.

But Johnson believed it was not a major issue for the Dockers.

“I didn’t even know he (Clarke) had a reprimand,” he said.

“It’s good for Clarky (that he can play).

“It has popped up a couple of times this year but I’m sure the guys are out there game day and putting their body on the line each contest and each game.

“There will be times when guys might get cited but we are there to win the ball.”

Johnson launched Fremantle’s indigenous-round themed jumper along with his seven Aboriginal teammates at the club this morning.

It is the same design as the jumper worn for the first time last season but this time is the predominantly white away strip, with the addition of the Stolen Generation Commemorative Flower above the three boomerangs.

Johnson said it would be an honour to wear the jumper against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on June 1, with his own stepdad a member of the Stolen Generations.

“To go out in this game against the Western Bulldogs and think about how it was back in the day and how they were taken from their families and we can just go out there and perform the way we have been playing from the weekend,” he said.

“Hopefully not just my stepdad, but other families out there will actually see this and see that we are honouring the Stolen Generation.”

Johnson said the rich indigenous history at the club had made it easier for him to fit in when he was drafted, highlighting the contributions of past players such as Winston Abraham, Gary Durkay, Scott Chisholm, Roger Hayden and Antoni Grover.

“They were here from the start and they went through some tough times back then but as a club we just kept ticking it over and there have been some fantastic players to come out of the club,” he said.

“These guys have done a lot of work around the club and put this club on the map so it’s fantastic to have eight indigenous boys, we picked up another two this season, and be part of the brothers down at the club.”

The 2013 All-Australian said the group had done some running at Fremantle Oval this morning and there didn’t appear to be any injuries out of their win over the Cats.

The West Australian

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