Former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd says Fremantle “looked like a bottom-four side” in Saturday’s loss to Port Adelaide, urging coach Ross Lyon to promote more youth as soon as possible.
The Dockers went into Saturday’s game with debutants Andrew Brayshaw and Bailey Banfield in the team - just the second and third debutants Ross Lyon has played in round one during his 11-year career as head coach.
But the side also featured five players over 30 years old - Hayden Ballantyne, Aaron Sandilands, Michael Johnson, Danyle Pearce and David Mundy.
Speaking on the AFL website, Lloyd said finals were not in the picture for the Dockers this season, so it was time to promote the kids over the veterans.
“The Dockers look like a bottom-four side on what we saw on the weekend,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be playing Danyle Pearce anymore. A bit too slow, the game’s gone past him.
“Now’s the time. They’re not going to play finals this year, so throw the kids in.”
Lloyd suggested promoting the likes of Adam Cerra, who was strong again for Peel at the weekend after arriving at the club still rehabilitating from shoulder surgery.
The Victorian midfielder finished with 24 touches and a goal, running rampant in the first half.
Another of the club’s high picks, Griffin Logue, didn’t play for the Thunder because of a lingering foot injury.
“Adam Cerra was pick five in the draft, as soon as he’s ready, he comes in for Danyle Pearce,” Lloyd said.
“Griffin Logue, you draft him at pick seven or eight, play him in front of Michael Johnson.
“Ross seems to have to wait until all is lost before he makes those type of moves.”
Speaking after the 50-point loss to the Power, Lyon said there would not be wholesale changes going into Saturday’s game against Essendon - the club’s first at Optus Stadium.
“It’s not something I’ve thought of,” he said.
“We had some debutants, I think we competed, we didn’t execute and we played a pretty good team.
“You don’t have to do much wrong to lose by 50 points in the AFL.”