The outside chance of a home qualifying final will be driving Fremantle as they come into their final tune-up before the finals begin. Today they take on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium. Live scores and commentary kicks off from 1.45pm AEST.
For just the second time in the club’s short history, the Fremantle Dockers have found themselves making the top four and giving themselves the double chance.
But if things are able to go their way, they could even move into the top two and firm their chances of a premiership.
A lot has been made of the soft draw Fremantle has had over the last few weeks, but that’s what’s been put in front of them and they’ve been able to get comfortable wins.
Leading into the finals, Ross Lyon has decided to rest a large chunk of his key players – ten in total, in fact.
Having said that, bringing back the likes of Garrick Ibbotson, Alex Silvagni and some guy called Aaron Sandilands shows the great depth of this team.
For St Kilda, today is all about farewelling a couple of superstars of their club.
Justin Koschitzke, Jason Blake and Stephen Milne will hang up the boots at the conclusion of this afternoon’s game.
Koschitzke has been described as the ultimate team man, but has been plagued with injuries and strange moments in his life – take for example the day he fainted on live TV.
Blake is a man who shuns the limelight and comes with no fuss, but his work in defence on the taller forwards was instrumental during the glory years of the Saints.
While Stephen Milne is by far one of the great small forwards to ever grace the VFL/AFL stage.
While he’s had some controversy come his way, ‘Tiprat’ as he’s been dubbed by some in the media, has kicked 572 goals in his career and was just centimetres away from handing the Saints a premiership.
This season has been a strange one for St Kilda with some promising performances, but the wins just haven’t shown that.
They’ve been competitive in a bulk of their games, including two games against last year’s premiers the Sydney Swans, and a gutsy effort against today’s opponents, Fremantle, at Patersons Stadium.
The fast track of Etihad Stadium doesn’t lend itself for a game to be a scrap, where St Kilda have been at their competitive best this season, so they’ll need to rely on their two best players of the year to step up – Nick Riewoldt and Jack Steven.
Expect to see Fremantle to shut out the Saints this afternoon, but I’m sure the Saints will step it up a notch as they say goodbye to some champions.