Colin Sylvia and Anthony Morabito will play for Peel Thunder in a WAFL practice match Friday afternoon.
For Sylvia, it’s a chance to impress the coaching staff at his new club and press for selection early in the AFL season.
For Morabito, it will surely just be nice to get back out on the field after a frustrating few years mainly watching from the sidelines. He deserves that opportunity before he starts concentrating on making his return to the elite level.
Morabito, 22, last played a competitive game of football in round 14 of the 2012 WAFL season, collecting 20 touches in Peel’s 29-point win over South Fremantle.
But the unlucky youngster was forced to have a third knee reconstruction in January 2013 following a mishap during pre-season training with the Dockers.
It is hopefully the final bad twist in what is already one of the AFL’s bad-luck injury stories.
Morabito ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during the 2011 pre-season after playing 23 games, including two finals, in his debut AFL season of 2010.
He was looking solid in his return in 2012, playing seven WAFL games before rupturing his ACL for a second time.
The football world will be hoping that tomorrow is the start of his final comeback and his return to the big time.
“Yeah he’ll play at Peel tomorrow,” Dockers coach Ross Lyon said. “He’ll play some limited game time, but he’s playing.
“It will be worth making the trip down (to Mandurah).
“It will be good just to see him play and enjoy his footy. It’s a significant milestone of where he wants to get to.”
The Dockers alignment with WAFL club Peel Thunder officially begins this year. Any Fremantle players not required at AFL level but in need of a run will play for the Mandurah-based side.
Sylvia could find himself in Thunder colours for a few weeks as he finds his fitness.
The 28-year-old has spent a lot of the pre-season training away from the main group as Fremantle as he catches up on the team structures.
After 157 games with Melbourne, he was picked up by the Dockers at the end of 2013 as an unrestricted free agent.
He played in the 80-point loss to West Coast in the NAB Challenge game on February 18, but looked well underdone and collected only five possessions.
He didn’t play in the Dockers 28-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium the following weekend.
Peel will host Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium tomorrow, with the league match starting at 2.05pm.
Saturday 8 March
2.05 – Swan Districts v East Perth (Steel Blue Oval)2.05 – Peel Thunder v Perth (Bendigo Bank Stadium)4.05 – Subiaco v West Perth (Medibank Stadium)6.30 – South Fremantle v Claremont (Fremantle Oval)BYE: East Fremantle
Saturday 15 March12pm – Swan Districts v Claremont (Steel Blue Oval)2.05pm – Peel Thunder v South Fremantle (Bendigo Bank Stadium)2.05pm – Perth v East Fremantle (Lathlain Park)BYE: West Perth, East Perth, Subiaco