‘No magic’: The Freo ‘muggles’ Ross must drop

AFL: Fox Footy analyst David King names five Fremantle ‘muggles’ that lack magic that must be dropped.

Fremantle’s Zac Dawson. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

ANALYSE the current playing lists of the Western Bulldogs and GWS Giants and you’ll find “wizards” everywhere.

But pick apart at the Fremantle roster and you’ll find far too many “muggles”, according to Fox Footy analyst David King.

And coach Ross Lyon needs to drop at least five of them from the best 22, says King, if the club is to progress.

Taking inspiration from the famous Harry Potter series, dual North Melbourne premiership player King told Fox Footy on Monday night that it was time Lyon made some tough calls on a handful of Fremantle players that lack “magic”.

“There’s the wizards and then there’s the muggles, who don’t have any magic. And there’s too many muggles at Fremantle at the moment,” King told On The Couch.

“There’s so many players not playing near their capability, but you’ve got to make a statement at this stage and I think Ross this week will drop the bulk of those guys.”

These are the five players King believes Lyon should send to the WAFL if the Dockers are “going to take steps forward in a hurry”.

Fremantle's Zac Dawson is one of five “muggles” that must be dropped, according to David King. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

Fremantle’s Zac Dawson is one of five “muggles” that must be dropped, according to David King. Picture: Daniel WilkinsSource:News Corp Australia

Zac Dawson

FREO’S perennial whipping boy since crossing over to St Kilda, Dawson’s output has gradually declined over the past three seasons.

In 2015, he suffered groin and thumb injuries then copped a two-game suspension upon return. Then last year, he was suspended for three games and dropped for one as he endured an inconsistent campaign that saw opposition forwards, such as Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch and Melbourne’s Jesse Hogan, get on top of him.

King said it was time for Lyon to let go of one of his favourites.

“The game’s gone past Zac. He’s not a great kick, he doesn’t want to kick the ball and he’s being beaten far too often one-on-one,” King said.

Garrick Ibbotson

IN the Dockers’ Grand Final year of 2013, Ibbotson was one of the club’s most crucial players, averaging a career-high 21.7 disposals and 8.2 marks.

But since an Achilles injury that same year — which kept him out of the Grand Final — Ibbotson has struggled to recapture that same form, culminating in a 2016 campaign that saw him dropped to the WAFL mid-season.

Ibbotson has started 2017 in good touch — he’s ranked 16th for average rebound 50s — but King believes he shouldn’t be an integral part of the Dockers’ 2017 plans from Round 3 onwards.

“He’s been a wonderful contributor over the years, a great intercept player … two years ago, but Freo were very good two years ago,” King said.

Shane Kersten

THE former Cat has only been in the door for a few months, but already there are concerns, according to King.

Kersten was a key part of the Cats’ best 22 during the first half of last year, before falling out of favour and eventually being traded to the Dockers in exchange for Pick 63 in the draft.

And the key forward has had a poor start to his Fremantle career, booting just one goal from 18 touches and eight marks across his two games.

“To me it looks like there are problems already for me. I think it’s a poor selection, a poor trade,” King said.

“I’ve seen his whole career and I haven’t seen him take hold of a forward line yet — and he’s not going to take hold of this forward line.”

Shane Kersten has struggled in his first two games at Fremantle.

Shane Kersten has struggled in his first two games at Fremantle.Source:Getty Images

Michael Johnson

ONCE considered Fremantle’s most important backman, age and injury have “caught up” with Johnson, according to King.

Since the 2013 Grand Final, Johnson has been unable to play a full season, with hamstring and knee injuries plaguing him between 2014 and 2016.

Johnson kept Cat Harry Taylor quiet in Round 1, but had little impact during his side’s big loss to Port Adelaide on the weekend.

King said Lyon had to make a tough call on Johnson.

“He’s an intercept player that doesn’t intercept anymore,” King said.

“He’s had one intercept mark in two weeks, so he’s not playing the role they need him to play.

“You need to make a decision on him. Either push him forward so he wins his own ball or you move past him.”

Nick Suban

THE utility was a regular in Lyon’s line-ups as the Dockers featured regularly in the finals.

But Suban fell out of favour towards the end of last year, playing the last five games in the WAFL.

And after a slow start to his 2017 campaign — 10 touches against Geelong and 14 against Port Adelaide — Suban could find himself at WAFL level again soon.

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Originally published as ‘No magic’: The Freo ‘muggles’ Ross must drop