Jack Gunston ruled out of preliminary Fremantle clash

HAWTHORN is likely to take an unchanged line-up into tomorrow night's preliminary final against Fremantle following tall forward Jack Gunston's failure to pass a fitness test on his injured ankle.

The dual premiership player missed last weekend's semi-final thrashing of Adelaide after injuring the ankle against West Coast in the first week of the finals.

General manager of football operations Chris Fagan told the club's website the 23-year-old had improved, but not quite enough.

"We decided this morning that he's not quite made enough progress to warrant his selection in the big final this week," Fagan said.

"We're happy with how he's improved, but we don't think that he's quite at the level yet where he can play in a big final."

Gunston is the only player in the club's top 22 unavailable for the preliminary final, with his spot again likely to be taken by Ryan Schoenmakers. He managed 16 disposals, eight marks and a goal against the Crows.

Fagan said Gunston (pictured) would be "a really good chance" to line up in the grand final next weekend provided Hawthorn was able to overcome the Dockers.

Meanwhile, Fremantle midfielder Danyle Pearce said the players were treating the preliminary final like a regular-season game and were confident they would not be overawed.

"We're not doing anything different, not changing strategies. We just approach this game like we have every other game," he said.

"There's no added pressure - since round one we've played every game like a grand final."

Topics:  afl sport

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