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Fremantle Dockers suffer injury blow with leader Reece Conca ruled out of North Melbourne clash

Fremantle defender Reece Conca will miss tomorrow’s match against North Melbourne with a minor hamstring injury.

The Dockers will fly from Cairns to the Gold Coast on the morning of the game and coach Justin Longmuir said he wasn’t prepared to take the risk.

Conca has been in brilliant form shutting down the competition’s most dangerous small forwards.

“He’s got a tight hammy and (we’re) just not willing to take the risk with him given we’ve got a two-hour flight to get to the game tomorrow,” Longmuir said.

Tobe Watson will return to the side in place of Conca.

Fellow defender Taylin Duman will have a last-minute test on the ankle he rolled against Melbourne on Monday night.

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“When he first did the injury and the day after, we assumed that he would miss,” Longmuir said.

“But he trained yesterday and it was remarkable how well he has pulled up so he’s going to do a fitness test this morning and we’ll reshuffle the team if he doesn’t get through.

“But we’re probably anticipating he will get through at this stage.”

Longmuir confirmed teenage forward Liam Henry was again set to be overlooked.

Despite finals being out of reach and a host of out-of-contract players’ futures being under a cloud, Longmuir said the final two rounds of the season was not a time to be experimenting with selection.

“We really want to reward performances in the team and we see the honour of being in the team and performing well, it’s your right to stay in the team,” he said.

“So we’re not going to make any unnecessary changes. Once you’re in the team and it’s performing well and you’re playing your role, it’s hard to find your way out of the team really.

Fremantle Dockers V Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium in Perth. Docker Reece Conca.
Camera IconFremantle Dockers V Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium in Perth. Docker Reece Conca. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

“That’s the sort of culture and mentality we want to build at the club going forward.”

Longmuir said veteran midfielder David Mundy’s future was still yet to be decided. Mundy’s strong run of form has continued in the Dockers second Queensland hub and he received votes from both coaches for his performance against Melbourne on Monday night.

“We’re constantly in conversations with him what next year looks like. We’re still a little bit uncertain, but from my perspective I couldn’t be any happier with the way Dave’s handled this year,” Longmuir said.

“Both on and off the field he’s gone about it the right way and he’s instilling all his experience and knowledge onto our younger mids and I think that’s starting to shine through in their performances.

“I hope he goes on for another year, but we’ve still got to have those discussions with him and make sure it suits both camps.”

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