The West

Freo pull down shutters in derby lead-up
Stephen Hill. Pic: Lincoln Baker/WA News

UPDATED: Fremantle midfielder Stephen Hill will miss Sunday’s western derby after being withdrawn from the 25-man squad with a hamstring injury as the club went into lockdown today.

And West Coast has reacted to their run of poor form by dropping Sharrod Wellingham for the big battle.

Hill, 24, had scans on the injury yesterday, with results last night revealing a minor hamstring strain.

At this stage it the club believe he is likely to miss just one week.

Defensive forward Matt de Boer returns to the team in his place after being omitted yesterday.

Fremantle named Jack Hannath, Alex Silvagni and Tom Sheridan on the emergencies list.

Wellingham, Jeremy McGovern and Dom Sheed were the players relegated from the Eagles line-up that lost to Carlton in the precious round.

Anthony Morabito's slim chances of playing his first AFL game in three years were dashed after he went down with tonsilitis.

The news comes after the club went into lockdown ahead of a must-win derby, with security posted at the Fremantle Oval gates to keep prying eyes out of today’s closed training session.

The public carpark inside the ground means they can’t keep everyone out, but with Michael Barlow facing a crucial fitness test and a must-win encounter against West Coast looming in two days, Lyon said they’re doing their best to keep opposition scouts at bay.

“Look it's really difficult here to have closed sessions,” he said.

“Typically we haven't had them although occasionally we like to. So it's probably just a bit of theatre because it's a derby.

“The general public can come in but what we do is we advertise it as a closed session.

“So what happens is opposition scouts tend to turn up and… you're in a position where you can say 'look, we will respect your environment' and we can then ask them to leave.

“It's a pretty hard ground to lock down but yeah, it's just a slight shift.”

The sign at Fremantle Oval today. Pic: Nick Rynne/WA News

Barlow was a welcome inclusion in the 25-man squad named by the Dockers yesterday after suffering a knee injury against Gold Coast in round two.

He must get through today’s session to be named in the final team, but Lyon said he was “really, really, really, really confident” that would be the case.

Nat Fyfe was also on deck after being ill earlier this week.

Dockers leadership group member Matt de Boer is the club’s only confirmed out for the derby, with Lyon putting his omission down to a lack of form.

Fremantle and West Coast will go into the derby desperate to secure the four points after a form drop in recent weeks has left them both on the fringes of the top eight with a 3-3 record.

The Dockers have won the past three derbies but Lyon said the Eagles have made noticeable changes since the last time they met in a regular-season match, having won both pre-season encounters between the sides this year.

“The first thing is they beat us the last two times,” he said.

“So that hadn't happened for a while.

“The biggest difference at the minute is injury free run, although they have sustained a couple.

“Because we do know they were premiership favourites last year, weren't they? Everyone was touting them to win the premiership.

“That list still exists. They've had a better run, and better availability, so we understand we're playing a really high level, high performance team.”

The West Australian

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