End of an era as veteran Matthew Pavlich gives up captaincy of Fremantle Dockers after nine seasons at the helm

MATTHEW Pavlich’s near decade-long stint as Fremantle skipper is over after the 34-year-old opted to relinquish the Dockers captaincy.

Having committed to continue his AFL career into 2016, Pavlich took time over the off-season break to consider his future at the helm of the club.

The six-time All-Australian made the call to remove himself from the leadership race, bringing to an end the sixth-longest captaincy stint in league history.

“First and foremost, it’s the right time for the football club — the right time for me to step aside and allow a new player or players the opportunity to lead,” he said.

“I have absolutely loved the honour and privilege of captaining Fremantle for the past nine years.

Matthew Pavlich (centre) will not captain the Dockers in 2016. Picture: Matthew Poon

“Leading the boys out onto the field was always a highlight of my week.

“After considering my playing future last year and the ever increasing responsibilities I have as a father, finalising my university studies and my role as president of the AFL Players’ Association, it is just the right time for both the club and myself.”

The 335-game veteran led the club in 189 matches since taking over the captaincy from Peter Bell at the end of the 2006 season.

Attention now turns to who Fremantle’s playing group will vote as Pavlich’s replacement, with Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe considered the frontrunner. Midfielder David Mundy is also likely to be in the frame.

 Pavlich said he would be a keen member of the leadership group if selected.

“If the group sees it fit that there is a role for me, I’d love to assist in the transition phase to a new captain,” he said.

“I would be willing to fulfil that role and do whatever was best for this playing group.”

Fremantle begins its pre-season against Richmond in Mandurah on February 19.

 

 

Story via PerthNow

Dale Bothe

AusRealNews.com.au editor

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