Recruit read to ruck and goal
Recruit read to ruck and goal

The uses Fremantle could find for recruit Scott Gumbleton became clearer at training yesterday when the former Essendon forward trained with the Dockers' ruck group, then kicked two first-quarter goals in the club's highest-intensity match simulation of the pre-season.

Although it has been assumed Gumbleton was recruited to Fremantle to boost the club's tall forward stocks, _The West Australian _understands Dockers list manager Brad Lloyd was impressed with Gumbleton's efforts as a ruckman for Essendon's VFL team in 2013.

He had 21 touches, took 11 marks and had 14 hit-outs as his team's best in a game against Collingwood.

Dockers assistant coach Peter Sumich said form would decide if and where Gumbleton fitted into Fremantle's structure but the 25-year-old had enjoyed a glitch-free pre-season.

"I don't think he has missed a session," Sumich said. "He might have come off half a session just because we have been looking after him because he hasn't missed one.

"He has been terrific, so he is an interesting inclusion for us.

"Everyone asks who is going to play, how is the mix and how is it going to look.

"Over the pre-season, round one really picks itself."

The Dockers have frequently played with one ruckman and one ruckman-forward under Ross Lyon and have appeared reluctant to select specialist ruckmen Jon Griffin and Aaron Sandilands in the same team.

While Fremantle have plenty of ruck options, the stocks are thinner in the pre-season build-up with Griffin, Zac Clarke and Kepler Bradley all returning from knee injuries.

Sumich also said captain Matthew Pavlich had enjoyed a solid pre-season.

"He has done everything, his body is sound, he is looking good so he is going to be leading into round one in the best shape of the couple of years that I have been here," Sumich said.

Fremantle will play an intraclub practice match next week followed by their first NAB Challenge match against West Coast on February 18.


  • ¬∑MORE FOOTBALL * P116

The West Australian

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