FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon has played a straight bat to talk linking the Dockers to emerging Adelaide star Mitch McGovern, declaring it is “not an appropriate time” to discuss trade speculation.
McGovern is out of contract at season’s end and his stocks soared after his remarkable last-gasp mark and goal to salvage a draw against Collingwood last Sunday.
The 22-year-old West Australian, whose father Andrew was an inaugural Docker, looks an attractive prospect to slot into Fremantle’s forward line, which remains a work-in-progress after last year’s additions of talls Cam McCarthy and Shane Kersten.
But the Dockers’ coach refused to address the McGovern trade talk at his media conference on Thursday.
“It’s really difficult. I don’t really deal in hypotheticals – I’d love Wayne Carey here playing,” Lyon said.
“That speculation and that, it’s not appropriate. We’re respectful of other clubs.
“There was the speculation about (Nat) Fyfe, so it goes on, but it’s really not my role.
“It’s certainly not an appropriate time and, with respect, I’m not in a position to answer that anyway.”
McGovern has also been linked to West Coast, where his brother Jeremy has made his name as a star defender, while commentator Anthony Hudson has claimed both brothers could end up playing together at the Dockers.
Jeremy, who is out of contract in 2018, told AFL.com.au in February he “would love” to play alongside his younger sibling.
The Dockers’ immediate concern is facing Gold Coast this Saturday night, with both sides searching for a rare win.
The Suns have had one triumph from their last seven games, while Freo has notched a solitary victory from its past nine matches.
“We’re always aiming to win, but we’re not defined by results, as much as they’re feedback,” Lyon said.
“We feel our footy’s been very competitive.
“We feel like we’re making big inroads, we’re banking games into kids and that’s the plan.”
It remains unclear whether Gary Ablett (hamstring) will travel to Perth, but Lyon hoped the superstar would line up for the Suns.
“It would be great experience for our kids to see and come up against greatness, because Gary is great, that’s indisputable,” Lyon said.
“I did make the comment the more you tag him the more he gets, so you actually have to spread off him and attack him a little bit.
“He is great, I love him.
“I don’t think we’ll tag him.
“There might be at some point we can get a Lachie Weller to him and he’ll know he’s alive.
“Lachie’s really capable himself, back him in and he can get the ball, run and he’s a beautiful kick.
“They’re the moments along the way that help – like Connor Blakely going to half-back – your development.”
Lyon will put faith in Joel Hamling, veteran Michael Johnson and Griffin Logue to contain Gold Coast tall forwards Tom Lynch and Peter Wright, after that trio held GWS guns Jeremy Cameron, Jonathon Patton and Rory Lobb to five goals.
The Dockers might rest young ruckman Sean Darcy and have to replace Blakely, whose season is over after a dislocated shoulder.