The West

Crowley will go hunting a top Tiger
Fremantle Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley. Picture: Getty Images.

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe has backed in-form tagger Ryan Crowley to quell the influence of whichever Richmond star coach Ross Lyon sends him to at Patersons Stadium on Saturday, whether it is Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio or Dustin Martin.

And Fyfe is confident he will be playing alongside Crowley and plans to test his injured ankle today in a bid to prove his fitness.

Fyfe injured the ankle when he trod on a suitcase in his hotel room in Adelaide last Saturday.

He paid tribute to Crowley, who had "the perfect build for most of the midfield types he plays on".

Crowley has re-emerged as one of the best run-with players in the competition. Last Saturday he held prolific Crow Scott Thompson to 16 possessions, only to see the Dockers get torched by Patrick Dangerfield and Matthew Wright.

Some weeks it was a coach's "toss of the coin" to see who Crowley went to, and that could be the case against the Tigers, Fyfe said.

"Last week it would have been the Dangerfield or Thompson one," Fyfe said. "Richmond have obviously got a really potent midfield with Cotchin and Martin playing some great footy.

"He (Crowley) is really important for us. It is one less player that us midfielders have to worry about.

"He is a really selfless player and has had a big year for us.

"He is pretty good on most players. He has got a big tank and he is pretty quick and one on one he is quite competitive as well."

Fyfe said he would be able to laugh about his ankle injury in about 10 years but when it happened he couldn't help thinking he had let the team down.

"I was in the hotel room pre-game just mucking around with a footy as I always do, just flicking it out to myself, practising getting my hands right and my hand-eye coordination in and, unfortunately, I stepped on the edge of my suitcase, landed awkwardly and rolled my ankle," he said.

"It is an ankle I have done a few times before so it is already quite sloppy. Initially I thought I would be OK, but inevitably it got worse and worse and started to blow up really fat really quickly.

"Then there was just real disappointment that I had let the team down, messed with their preparation just before going into the game.

"I was quite disappointed with myself. I think in 10 years time I will look back and have a bit of a chuckle about things."

Fyfe is confident of being fit to play against Richmond but the real test will be how he pulls up from today's training session.

"At the moment, the forecast is looking really good and I have been doing a lot of physiotherapy this week," he said.

"I have to get through a training session tomorrow and if everything goes according to plan, I should be right to line up on Saturday."

The West Australian

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