In-form Greater Western Sydney tagger Matt de Boer is eager to add Nat Fyfe to his growing list of high-profile scalps when he confronts former club Fremantle this weekend.
The Dockers captain is poised to return in Saturday’s clash at UNSW Canberra Oval after missing his side’s western derby defeat because of concussion.
He will need to be given the green light by club medical staff in the coming days.
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De Boer looms as a possible opponent in a run-with role after his brilliant shutdown jobs on Richmond superstar Dustin Martin and explosive Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly over the past fortnight.
The 29-year-old also helped keep Patrick Dangerfield quiet in the Giants’ hard-fought win over the Cats on Saturday.
His nagging tactics led Dangerfield to lash out – as Martin did a week earlier – in an incident that resulted in the Brownlow Medal fined $2000 yesterday.
But he showed no ongoing effects of the off-the-ball blow and dismissed concerns over the state of his body after the combative affair.
De Boer, who spent eight seasons at Fremantle before being axed at the end of 2016, said he had exchanged text messages with close friend Fyfe after the Dockers skipper sustained concussion in a collision with St Kilda’s Josh Battle in round three.
He welcomed the possible match-up in the nation’s capital and indicated he wouldn’t shy away from his usual method this week.
“He’s pretty handy,” de Boer said of Fyfe.
“I’d need a team approach (to taking him on), put it that way.
“He’s a super player. I’m hoping first and foremost that his health is OK after that knock.
“We’ll see during the week, but I’d be up for any challenge.”
De Boer limited Kelly to a career-low nine disposals and helped keep Dangerfield to 17, his lowest tally in almost four years.
He also spent a brief period blunting dangerous Cats midfielder Mitch Duncan late in the game.
De Boer said he was enjoying the run-with roles and would continue to work on the craft with Giants assistant coach and former St Kilda champion Lenny Hayes.
“It’s super having Shane Mumford, Steve Coniglio, Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto around me and getting to watch them from front row seats, essentially,” de Boer said.
“I’m just trying to chip in and play my role where I can and I’m really enjoying being in the midfield.
“I’ll try to stick to the team principles and get my hands on it as well.
“I’ll keep looking at it and try to get better.”
GWS have lost co-captain Callan Ward to a suspected season-ending knee injury but could welcome back superstar Toby Greene from a calf muscle complaint against Fremantle.
The Giants won on both of de Boer’s previous meetings with his former club and have lost just one of 12 matches in Canberra over the past four seasons.
“We like to think it’s a fortress down there, so we’ll go in confident,” de Boer said.
“We’ll put a strong plan in for Freo and take it to them.”