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Fremantle Dockers veteran Michael Walters holds his spot as two fan favourites return

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Aaron KirbyThe West Australian
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VideoThe young AFL star has spoken exclusively to 7NEWS about his improving form and his fiery clash with former team North Melbourne.

Fremantle veteran Michael Walters has held his spot to face Melbourne in Alice Springs on Sunday as the Dockers name two fan favourites to return.

Walters has endured a lean start to 2024, kicking just eight goals in 11 games and booting multiple majors just once with the goal sneak under heat from coach Justin Longmuir, who says he needs to see more from the forward.

“We need a little bit more out of Sonny; he knows that. And he’d like a little bit more out of his own game as well, so we’re on the same page there,” Longmuir said.

“A lot of the things he’s doing pretty well, and there’s going to be more than one of two changes this week, so we’ll see how it falls for Sonny. But we want him up and going.

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“We probably lack a bit of finish in our front half, and he definitely brings that; we’ve got to work out how to get him more of the ball and to get more involved in the game. We’re working closely with him.”

Meanwhile, Michael Fredericks returns to the lineup in a much-needed speed boost, while the weight of good WAFL performances has finally paid off for Neil Erasmus.

Fredericks missed last week’s clash with concussion and will add an offensive weapon up forward, while Erasmus has averaged an extraordinary 35.2 disposals, 7.2 marks and five tackles per game for Peel Thunder in his bid to force his way into the starting 22.

Forward Sam Sturt has also been named in an extended bench alongside Corey Wagner who is expected to return to WAFL level after playing as the sub against Collingwood.

Lineup to face Melbourne

B: H Chapman A Pearce J DraperHB: JAish L Ryan J ClarkC: J Sharp A Brayshaw H YoungHF: J O’Meara S Switkowski M FrederickF: J Treacy J Amiss L JacksonFOLL: S Darcy C Serong N FyfeINT: B Banfield T Emmett N Erasmus M Johnson S Sturt C Wagner B Walker M Walters

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