Big games hold Freo in good stead

Sportal September 4, 2012, 3:20 pm
Chris Mayne

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Fremantle forward Chris Mayne is confident his team is well prepared to handle a cut-throat elimination final against reigning premiers Geelong on Saturday night.

The Dockers played finals in 2010 under Mark Harvey but missed out in 2011 and many of their team have only played a handful of finals.

This week they will come up against a Geelong team with a wealth of premiership experience.

But Mayne said big matches throughout the year, such as games against West Coast, would help the team prepare.

"I think the boys have just got to stick to what they've been doing, stick to their routine and how they have been preparing every week," he said.

"What we expect as a club is giving great effort and playing your role, so that's what they've got to focus on.

"The hype and the atmosphere is going to be there, but to embrace it as soon as possible and use that emotion and get into action."

Key Fremantle duo Matthew Pavlich and David Mundy did not train in the club's open session on Tuesday morning, but are expected to play against the Cats.

Mayne said Pavlich's presence would significantly help the forward line structure.

"He's obviously a stand-up leader and knows exactly what he has to do to prepare himself for the weekend," Mayne said.

"As you've seen over the year he's been really diligent with preparing his body and preparing for the weekend.

"To have him there (is important) and I think over the year he might not have been 100 percent every game, but he's really stepped up and proven why he's the captain of the club.

While the team may be inexperienced finals campaigners, coach Ross Lyon took his former club St Kilda to three grand finals (including the 2010 replay).

But Mayne played down the significance of Lyon's experience and put the emphasis back on the playing group.

"It's great to have a senior coach with experience but it really comes down to us on the day," he said.

"We do all the preparing during the week (and) it's how we front up and play on the week.

"I think you can see from the weekend and other games we're really starting to gel as a side and play the way we want to play.

"It really does come down to the two things I've been saying, knowing your role and giving great effort."

Geelong will be without livewire Steve Johnson, who accepted a one-match ban for his bump on Dan Hannebery last weekend, but Mayne feels the Cats will be able to cover his absence.

"For us it's probably a little bit of a bonus, but we're really focusing on who's going to come in and step up for them ... they're the reigning premiers," he said.

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