AAP AFL

Hogan set to benefit from Freo surprise

By AAP Newswire

Fremantle match winner Michael Walters reckons Jesse Hogan will have plenty to smile about after Stephen Hill was handed an AFL recall for Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide.

Hill hasn't played since round 20 last year, with a raft of quad issues followed by a calf injury putting a temporary halt on his career.

The 29-year-old was expected to make his return via the WAFL this weekend, but coach Ross Lyon sprung a surprise by naming him for the match against Port Adelaide.

Hill, who can play half back, in the midfield, or on the wing, is one of the most skilled players in the competition.

That spells good news for Hogan, who has endured a frustrating time at his new club due to Fremantle's wayward forward entries.

"To get someone back like Stephen Hill will give us a massive confidence boost," Walters said.

"It's going to be exciting, especially for guys like Hoges.

"He just has to make those little leads and you know that Stephen Hill is going to hit you on the chest.

"So to have someone with that sort of foot skill, but also the footy nous and smarts that he has, is going to be important for us going forward."

Hogan has booted just 10 goals in 10 games this season, but showed some promising signs with two goals from 17 disposals in the four-point win over Collingwood.

That triumph was soured by serious injuries to star defender Alex Pearce (fractured ankle) and ruckman Rory Lobb (fractured foot).

Sean Darcy has been recalled to replace Lobb, while Griffin Logue will play his first game since 2017 as a replacement for Pearce.

Port Adelaide resisted the temptation to recall forward Charlie Dixon and co-captain Ollie Wines, with the pair to play in the SANFL again.

But vice-captain Hamish Hartlett has been named for his first AFL match since rupturing an ACL in April last year.

Saturday's match looms as crucial to both Fremantle and Port's finals hopes.

Both sides have 6-5 records and almost identical percentages, with Saturday's winner to move as high as sixth on the ladder.

Port Adelaide thrashed West Coast by 42 points at Optus Stadium in round five, meaning the venue will hold no fears for them.

"I think most guys when they walk into the venue they'll relive some of those great memories that we took away from that West Coast game," Power assistant coach Brett Montgomery said.

"It's important that grounds like Optus hold no fears for a young group. I think it will be all smiles when we get there."

Walters has kicked the match-winning score in each of Fremantle's past two matches, but he hopes his heroics won't be needed again this week.