HARLEY Bennell could be set for an extended midfield role for Peel Thunder in the coming weeks, according to coach Cam Shepherd.
The Fremantle Dockers livewire played two-and-a-half quarters in Peel’s four-goal loss to lowly East Fremantle as he continued his comeback from a nagging calf injury.
The second pick in the 2010 National Draft had 16 disposals, three tackles, two inside 50s and a goal in his restricted playing time.
Shepherd said Bennell could spend more time in the midfield as he continued to build fitness, but the decision was up to Fremantle coach Ross Lyon.
“He gave us a bit of spark, so hopefully he’ll pull up well and we’ll have a discussion with Ross and see what to do going forward,” he said.
Bennell was one of few positives for Peel, who slumped to their fifth loss in seven games in wintry conditions, and Shepherd said the Sharks adapted to the weather better than his side.
“It wasn’t raining a lot but it was certainly windy, the game was played on one side of the ground,” he said.
“There was a bit of ill-discipline from our players and a couple of East Fremantle players willed themselves on the game, in particular George Hampson and Jonathon Marsh.”
Despite strong midfield performances from Ben Howlett (35 disposals), Stefan Giro (34 disposals and seven tackles) and sterling defence from Taylin Duman (14 marks) and Ethan Hughes (10 marks), Shepherd admitted he was disappointed with his side’s goal-kicking.
Peel scored just 4.13 and were 1.9 at half time.
“The backline held up well, but I’m disappointed with the forward line, we missed some easy shots and we needed to apply some pressure on the scoreboard,” he said.