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Gaff to face his demons against Dockers

West Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff is set to play in a pre-season game against Fremantle next week, putting him face-to-face with young Docker Andrew Brayshaw.

Gaff to face his demons against Dockers

West Coast midfielder Andrew Gaff is set to play in a pre-season game against Fremantle next week, putting him face-to-face with young Docker Andrew Brayshaw.

ANDREW GAFF of the Eagles handpasses the ball under pressure during the AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia.
ANDREW GAFF of the Eagles handpasses the ball under pressure during the AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images

West Coast star Andrew Gaff will get an early chance to face his Docker demons when he lines up against Fremantle in a pre-season clash next week.

Gaff will miss the first two rounds of the AFL season because he still has two more weeks of his suspension to serve.


The All-Australian midfielder was handed an eight-match ban for breaking the jaw of young Docker Andrew Brayshaw in round 20 last year.

Under AFL rules, Gaff is still allowed to play pre-season games, and the 26-year-old starred with 27 disposals in Friday night's 34-point win over Geelong.

After the win, Eagles coach Adam Simpson confirmed Gaff will be given some minutes against the Dockers in the pre-season match in Mandurah on March 10.

Gaff and Brayshaw have met several times since last year's fiery western derby, and the pair have made peace.

They even played a round of golf together.

But how other Dockers players react to Gaff remains to be seen.

West Coast meet Fremantle in round four of the home-and-away season.

But by Gaff playing against the Dockers in a warm-up match, it will help put further closure on last year's incident before the season begins.

"We'll give him some minutes next week," Simpson said of Gaff.

"I think we'll find a way to rotate him through.

"Guys probably aren't ready for a full 120 minutes, so we'll use him at stages no doubt next week."

Jack Darling's five goals and Dom Sheed's 39-disposal effort were the highlights of West Coast's win over Geelong.

The Cats were missing Tom Hawkins (illness) and Gary Ablett (managed), but the pair are set to be unleashed in Thursday's pre-season clash with Essendon at GMHBA Stadium.

Cats ruck-forward Esava Ratugolea showed glimpses of brilliance against the Eagles, with his athletic display proving he was well and truly over the broken ankle he suffered last year.

"He's such a lively young man and loves to fly for his marks. It was great tonic for us in the box to see that," Geelong assistant coach Matthew Knights said.

"It just shows what kind of character he is, that he's not going to let an injury in the past hold him back.

"He took a big step forward towards round one."

Jordan Clark, Geelong's first pick at last year's national draft, shone in defence, tallying 21 disposals to put his hand up for a round-one AFL debut.

"He was super," Knights said.

"He defended really well in the air. And then some of his dash and leg speed off half back was really exciting for all of us."

AAP


AAP




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