Dockers stand by tough stance on Frederick

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Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir believes his decision to suspend in-form forward Michael Frederick for a week will help the club achieve future success.

Frederick will miss Saturday's AFL clash with Hawthorn at Optus Stadium after breaking the team's alcohol rules by drinking during a six-day break between games.

The 22-year-old has been a key figure in the club's recent wins over top-two sides Melbourne and Brisbane, and Longmuir believes Frederick's absence against Hawthorn will hurt Fremantle's chances of winning a third straight game.

Longmuir said the decision to ban Frederick was made for the greater good of the team.

"I said to the players yesterday, it might hurt our chances of winning this weekend by not having Freddy out there, but walking past these things will stop us winning in the future," Longmuir said.

"We need to step on it. He's going to learn a tough lesson. He's made a bad decision.

"He clearly stepped outside the behaviours we accept, and he knew that.

"He owned up to it, fessed up to it, apologised really sincerely. I know he'll learn from it and come back a better person and player."

Longmuir said it was important for players to abstain from alcohol during shortened breaks between games.

"Drinking on a six-day break is just not great for recovery," Longmuir said.

"It's a short turnaround in AFL footy, and we need everyone to recover the best they can.

"That (drinking) doesn't allow you to do it. That's been a rule, it's probably a rule at most footy clubs, and he's clearly stepped outside of that."

Fremantle are set to be bolstered by the return of Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters, and Sam Switkowski against the Hawks.

But forward Matt Taberner won't be seen until after the mid-season bye due to a lingering back injury.

"It probably just hasn't responded the way we would have liked and the way it has in the past," Longmuir said.

"He's just been a bit interrupted this year, in and out. He hasn't got the continuity we'd like.

"We have to make sure we get that right, because he's a really important part of our team and can make a big difference for us."

Fyfe was mobbed by fans during his comeback game in the WAFL on Saturday, and Longmuir said so far the two-time Brownlow medallist had "dodged a bullet" on the COVID-19 front.

Hawthorn will be without forward Jack Gunston (ankle), but Sam Frost will return from suspension and Jack Scrimshaw (concussion) could also be available.

Ruckman Max Lynch and Josh Ward will remain sidelined because of concussion.

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