The West

Dockers in the dark as Simpson a no-show again
Injured Dockers forward Michael Wlaters watches training after having had surgery on his left ankle last week. Pic: Iain Gillespie/WA News

Youngster Josh Simpson was a no-show at Fremantle training this morning as the fallout from his decision not to fly to Sydney for last weekend’s clash with the Swans continues.

Simpson and his management were expected to meet club officials today but the 2012 first-round draft pick did not join his teammates for today’s open training session at Fremantle Oval.

Veteran defender Luke McPharlin said the players were yet to speak to Simpson, who failed to show up as the travelling emergency after he was dropped from the side which beat Essendon in round four.

“We all heard about that when he didn’t make the flight to Sydney,” he said.

“But outside of that there’s been no contact with him from the playing group, leadership group.

“Given we weren’t in here yesterday, there hasn’t been a chance for the collective to get together and discuss what happens with that.

“So that will be a process that we go through in the next day or two with the leadership group and the coaches.”

McPharlin said Simpson’s actions had been extremely disappointing.

“A lot of resources have been put into Josh over the journey," he said.

“We really wanted him to fulfil his enormous potential and play football for us.

“He showed a little bit in the game last week and we were certainly excited about what he could do and how he could contribute to the side.

“But we stand at this point very disappointed with the outcome and we’ll have to make a decision moving forward.”

Dockers coach Ross Lyon works with Hayden Ballantyne, whom he labelled undisciplined last night. Pic: Iain Gillespie/WA News

McPharlin did not rule out Simpson fighting his way back from the indiscretion.

“I’ve always been pretty open-minded with these cases,” he said.

“We know that Michael Walters was certainly the one that stands out in everyone’s mind, where no one really thought he’d come back and play, but he certainly turned it around.

“Every individual is different.

“I don’t think you can every write anyone off, but the incident on the weekend was pretty serious and we’ll have to look at it.”

Walters watched on from the sidelines today, with his left ankle in a cast after undergoing surgery in Melbourne last week.

McPharlin and fellow veterans Aaron Sandilands and Matthew Pavlich left the track early, while Tom Sheridan was on light duties following his best on ground performance for Peel Thunder.

Hayden Ballantyne was on the track after accepting his one-match ban from the loss to Sydney, his indiscipline earning a rebuke from coach Ross Lyon.

Kepler Bradley trained with the main group and Scott Gumbleton jogged laps as they continue their recoveries from long-term injuries.

Garrick Ibbotson at Dockers training today. Pic: Iain Gillespie/WA News
The West Australian

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