Lyon sticks with Apeness for GWS
Michael Apeness in action against Melbourne.

Fremantle will give young power forward Michael Apeness a second chance to strut his stuff at AFL level against Greater Western Sydney at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon declared Apeness, who made his debut against Melbourne in Darwin last Saturday, a likely starter against the Giants, even though skipper Matthew Pavlich is also likely to return from illness.

“He should play again this weekend. We are pretty keen to keep him going,” Lyon said of Apeness.

Apeness, 19, had five touches in two and a half quarters against Melbourne and was subbed out of the game midway through the third term for Anthony Morabito to ake his return to AFL football.

But Lyon was pleased with the way the 200cm forward competed.

“I thought he was really good in tough conditions I thought he competed really strongly,” he said.

“It is a bit of what we are after. He is an exciting young talent. It is not going to be a smooth ride for him the whole time.

"He has got a lot to learn. It has never been tougher for a tall forward in the AFL and particularly a young one so we are excited by him.

"He is a bit of a beast and we are looking for that in our front half. I don’t worry if they take too many marks as long as they don’t get out-marked. If the ball is brought to ground you are pretty happy as a coach.

"We do know that young talls take a long time. Young (Ben) Reid from Collingwood, I think he played two games in his first three years and then nin his fourth year he blossomed and played in a premiership.”

Lyon has declared Michael Johnson a “likely” starter against the Giants provided he gets through training this week. Johnson has missed five weeks with a knee injury.

“If it goes according to plan he should be playing this week but we have got to get through today and Friday,” he said.

“He hasn’t played for, I think this would be his fifth week.

"You don’t want to miss too much elite footy, it is a brutal competition so, we will have match committee because it was a really good performance but he is a valued leader around the place, a general down there and a pretty good player.

"We are keen to get him up and going.”

The West Australian

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