FREMANTLE coach Ross Lyon has thrown Tanner Smith’s name in the ring as a possible surprise inclusion for Saturday’s qualifying final against Sydney.
Smith was one of a handful of players nominated as contenders to bolster the Dockers’ defence.
“Tanner Smith has played senior football,” Lyon said.
While this was all he said in a media conference, it was enough to put Smith well and truly in the mix.
Smith, 20, has only played the one AFL game.
That was last year, when the former Kalkee and North Ballarat Rebels player debuted against Hawthorn in round four.
Hamstring and shoulder injuries have kept him on the outer in 2014, with Smith managing only a few games with Peel Thunder in the WAFL.
Smith had his seventh outing for Thunder against South Fremantle on Saturday – gathering 10 possessions and six marks, along with three tackles.
It would certainly be a dream return for Smith if he did get the nod.
He is just one of several former Rebels and North Ballarat Roosters in line to play in their first AFL finals.
• Marty Gleeson (Essendon): The Koroit youngster, who turned 20 on August 20, made his debut in round one and played in the opening six games, plus another in round eight.
He did not reappear for the Bombers until the round 23 draw with Carlton.
• Dean Towers (Sydney Swans): Had to wait a while, but the 24-year-old finally broke into the star-studded line-up in round 17 and has now played six times, including the past three. Big chance to retain his place.
• Jake Lloyd (Sydney Swans): The ex-Horsham Demon and North Ballarat Rebel has had a dream season.
Promoted from rookie list to make his debut in round five and has not looked back, playing in 18 consecutive matches. Lloyd tallied up another 20 touches in Sydney’s loss to Richmond.
• Jake Neade (Port Adelaide): Has played in Port Adelaide’s past four games after spending a lengthy stint in the wilderness.
Played just the one game before this for the year, but looks to have found form at the right time.