Pavlich farewells at his 353rd and final game in 2016
|Full name||Matthew Pavlich|
|Nickname(s)||Pav, The Great Man|
|Date of birth||31 December 1981|
|Place of birth||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Original team(s)||Woodville-West Torrens (SANFL)|
|Draft||No. 4, 1999 National Draft, Fremantle|
|Height||192 cm (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||99 kg (218 lb)|
|Representative team honours|
|2008||Dream Team||1 (0)|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2003.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
A versatile player, Pavlich is widely regarded as one of the premier AFL centre half-forwards of the modern era, achieving All-Australian selection six times between 2002 and 2008, twice representing Australia in the International Rules Series and representing the Dream Team in the 2008 Hall of Fame Tribute Match.
Pavlich played his entire AFL career at Fremantle after making his debut for the club in 2000. Over his 17-year career, he was a six-time best and fairest winner, eight-time leading goalkicker and was the club captain between 2007 and 2015. In 2014, he became the first player from a Western Australian-based club to reach 300 AFL games.
Pavlich was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He is a fifth-generation Australian of Croatian-Scottish descent. His mother, Jan, is of Scottish and German descent, while his father, Steve, is of Irish and Croatian descent. His father and two uncles played for West Torrens Football Club in the SANFL.
Pavlich played school football at Sacred Heart College in Adelaide and followed the footsteps of his father, playing senior football for the Woodville-West Torrens Eagles before he was drafted into the AFL. In 1999, he was the club's leading goalkicker.
Pavlich was recruited by Fremantle with the fourth selection in the 1999 AFL national draft. Pavlich had nominated for the 1998 draft, but was overlooked by all clubs. Most notably Adelaide instead drafted 17-year-old Ken McGregor who went on to play 158 games between 1999 and 2008, and cross town rival Port Adelaide who instead chose 17-year-old Adam Morgan who played only 3 games between 2002 and 2003 for Port.
Early career (2000–2001)Edit
With the 2000 AFL season starting earlier than normal due to the 2000 Summer Olympics later that year in Sydney, Pavlich only played one game for South Fremantle in the Westar Rules before making his AFL debut in Round 5 against Melbourne. Pavlich achieved the rare feat of kicking 2 goals with his first 2 kicks in the AFL. He went on to play the remaining 18 games for the season, earning himself a Rising star nomination in Round 17 while contributing consistently and finished ninth in the club's best and fairest award.
The 2001 Season saw Pavlich spend more time in the Forward line. He managed to underline his potential with some eye catching performances including two 4-goal hauls against the Brisbane Lions which earned him 2 Brownlow votes, the first of his career. Pavlich went on to play 21 games for the season, finishing with a respectable 28 goals. In an otherwise disappointing season for Fremantle, Pavlich was the shining light as he started to realise his true potential.
Rising career (2002–2004)Edit
2002 was the season that would set up Matthew Pavlich for the rest of his career. In a widely unexpected move, new Fremantle coach Chris Connolly moved Pavlich into a defensive role. Playing against some of the power forwards of the competition, Pavlich underlined his versatility and talent as a footballer, as he displayed a smooth transition into the role. He showed the uncanny ability of shutting down opponents, while gathering plenty of possession and setting up play further up the ground. This saw him earn his first All-Australian selection at fullback at the age of 20.
In the 2003 season he was again called upon to play a different role, Pavlich was this time thrust into a midfield role, while also pushing up to half forward. This allowed him to gather multiple possessions forward of centre and develop into a strong goal-kicking midfielder. Playing all 23 games for the season, including the club's first final, Pavlich finished off averaging 18.7 possessions per game, and executed his damaging midfield role perfectly with 37 goals. He was rewarded with a second selection in the All-Australian team for the 2003 season, this time named on the Half Forward Flank.
Career high (2005–2008)Edit
The 2005 season saw Pavlich moved to centre half forward, with Fremantle focusing on a taller forward structure. The move paid massive dividends for the team, as Pavlich topped Fremantle's list of goalkickers, with 61 goals for the season. He also took more marks than any other Docker and won his second Doig Medal as Fremantle's best and fairest player. In the 2005 Brownlow Medal count, Pavlich was tipped as a contender, but like Tredrea in 2004, the power forwards did not get the votes of the umpires and Pavlich finished equal ninth; receiving more votes than any other Fremantle player.
He has been selected in the All-Australian Teams six times: in 2002 (fullback), 2003 (half forward flank), 2005 (centre half forward), 2006 (interchange), 2007 (full forward) and 2008 (interchange). He was a member of the Australian International rules team in 2002 and 2003, and was a Rising Star nominee in 2000. On 13 December 2006 Pavlich was named the captain of the Fremantle Football Club, succeeding Peter Bell.
Despite the additional burden of captaincy, Pavlich performed well throughout the 2007 season, leading an otherwise disappointing Fremantle side. He kicked a club record 72 goals, came second in the Coleman Medal and was named full-forward in the All-Australian team for 2007.
On 14 August 2007 Pavlich signed a new, 3-year contract with the Fremantle Football club, which ended speculation that he may join the Adelaide Crows or Port Adelaide. The contract is rumoured to be worth $2.5 million.
In 2008, despite Fremantle again missing the finals, Pavlich won his fifth Doig Medal, as well as being Fremantle's leading goalkicker, the Ross Glendinning Medal in both Western Derbies and his sixth All-Australian selection.
2009 saw Pavlich, under coach Mark Harvey, move into the midfield. He had a strong year averaging 21.7 disposals and leading the goal kicking for Fremantle with 28 goals from 19 games.
Pavlich spent 2010 rotating between the midfield and forward line, averaging 18.9 disposals and leading the goal kicking for the Dockers with 61 goals, helping his team make the finals for the first time since 2006.
Pavlich was forced back into the midfield for the 2011 season following a number of significant injuries to the Dockers. He had another successful year averaging 23.5 disposals and kicking 21 goals from 20 games. This saw Pav end the year with 9 Brownlow medal votes, the second highest for the Dockers and win his 6th club best & fairest, narrowly beating Nathan Fyfe.
2012 season and 500th goalEdit
In round 7 of the 2012 AFL season, Pavlich kicked his 500th career goal in a four-goal effort which lead his team to victory against Port Adelaide, becoming the first Fremantle player and the 51st player in VFL/AFL history to kick 500 goals. Following a permanent move to the forward line in the second half of the year, Pavlich kicked 55 goals in his final 13 games. Fremantle's late season resurgence was mirrored by his own form, the highlights being an 8-goal haul in the Round 19 Western Derby and 6 goals in an Elimination Final victory against reigning premiers Geelong at the MCG.
Pavlich had a frustrating start to 2013, playing the early games with injury, which eventually kept him out for 12 weeks.
However upon return Pavlich returned to good form, helping his team reach their first Grand Final in which he was the top scorer for Fremantle. Though poor kicking at goal from Pavlich and his team mates left Fremantle 15 points short of victory in what was their most successful year to date.
Pavlich played his 300th game in round 9 against the Geelong Cats. He reached another milestone in the same match, with his 600th career goal.
On 13 January 2016, Pavlich relinquished the captaincy of the Fremantle Football Club after nine seasons, and was replaced by David Mundy. Pavlich announced his retirement at the end of July 2016, with his final game slated to be in Round 23 against the Western Bulldogs. He stated, "I'm just looking forward to finishing the season off individually in good form and certainly helping my teammates launch towards 2017... I have nothing left to give and I can walk away feeling quite fulfilled."
In August, Pavlich's 353rd and final game saw Fremantle defeat the eventual Premiers, the Western Bulldogs, by 20 points. It was only Fremantle's fourth win for the season, and came after eight straight losses. Pavlich entered the ground with his teammates and family through a 29-person guard-of-honour of Fremantle Football Club fans. He kicked a goal in the first quarter to reach 700 career goals, which moved him into elite company in the 350-game, 700-goal club with Kevin Bartlett and Bernie Quinlan. After the game, Pavlich ran a final lap of the stadium to farewell fans before exiting the ground through a guard-of-honour consisting of current Fremantle and Western Bulldogs players, and past Fremantle players. Pavlich said he planned to have a six-month break with his family before pursuing a new career outside football, because, "I've been doing this for 17 years; I need to do something different, I need to get into another industry and challenge myself in another sphere of life."
|Led the league after finals only|
|Led the league after season and finals|
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Honours and achievementsEdit
|Brownlow Medal votes|
- All-Australian: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- International Rules Series Player: 2002, 2003
- Doig Medal: 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011
- Fremantle Leading Goalkicker: 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
- Fremantle Captain: 2007–2015
- Fremantle Life Member Inductee: 2006
- Runner Up Coleman Medal: 2007, 2012
Pavlich married his long-time girlfriend of eight and a half years Lauren O'Shannassy, now Lauren Pavlich, in December 2010. In March 2013, their daughter Harper was born. During their arrival at the 2014 Brownlow Medal they announced that they were expecting a second child and in February 2015, their first son Lee Jack was born and in 2016 their second son William James was born.
- Conn, Malcolm (8 May 2010). "Matthew Pavlich gives Dockers hope he's in for long haul". The Australian. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012.
- Walsh, Scott (9 April 2011). "Unwavering loyalty of lost legend". The Advertiser. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- "Eagles Honour Board". wwtfc.com.au. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- Lovett, Michael, ed. (2001). AFL 2001. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-9585286-7-5.
- Lovett, Michael, ed. (2001). AFL 2001. p. 407. ISBN 0-9585286-7-5.
- Lovett, Michael, ed. (2001). AFL 2001. p. 99. ISBN 0-9585286-7-5.
- Matthew Pavlich statistics
- O'Donoghue, Craig. Freo's $2.5 million man reveals: Why I'm staying, The West Australian p.124, 14 August 2007.
- AAP (5 October 2008). "Pavlich named Dockers' best". Realfooty. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Clarke, Tim (9 October 2011). "Fans baffled as Pavlich voted Dockers' best". Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Washbourne, Michael (13 May 2012). "Matthew Pavlich kicks 500th goal as Fremantle beats Port Adelaide". PerthNow. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- "Huge blow for Freo as skipper sidelined - AFL.com.au". afl.com.au. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Malcolm, Alex (13 January 2016). "Pavlich steps down after nine seasons as Dockers captain". AAP. Australian Football League. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- Schmook, Nathan (26 July 2016). "Freo legend Matthew Pavlich to leave the game 'wrung dry'". Australian Football League. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- White, Simon (28 August 2016). "Finally a moment for Fremantle fans to celebrate as Pavlich boots 700th goal". WA Today. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- Quartermaine, Braden (28 August 2016). "Retiring Fremantle Dockers legend Matthew Pavlich asks his teammates to 'try your guts out'". PerthNow. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- Ceranic, Irena (28 August 2016). "Fremantle Docker Matthew Pavlich plays last game to home crowd". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Former Fremantle Dockers captain joins Nine News Perth as new sports presenter". Perth Now. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "Matthew Pavlich's player profile". AFL Tables.
- Pepper, Daile. "It's lonely being a WAG for Pav's princess". WA Today. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Quartermaine, Braden (7 March 2013). "Matthew and Lauren Pavlich welcome baby daughter Harper Rose". PerthNow.
- "Brownlow red carpet arrivals". 22 September 2014.
- "Matthew Pavlich: The journey to one". Fremantle Dockers Football Club.
- Quartermaine, B. "Pavlich the one that got away". Perth Now.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matthew Pavlich.|
- Matthew Pavlich's profile on the official website of the Fremantle Football Club
- Matthew Pavlich's playing statistics from AFL Tables
- "Anatomy of a Superstar" Australian newspaper article