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Matthew Pavlich

Matthew Pavlich
Pavlich after his final game in 2016
Personal information
Full name Matthew Pavlich
Nickname(s) Pav
Date of birth (1981-12-31) 31 December 1981 (age 42)
Place of birth Adelaide, South Australia
Original team(s) Woodville-West Torrens (SANFL)/Sacred Heart College
Draft No. 4, 1999 National Draft, Fremantle
Height 192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 99 kg (218 lb)
Position(s) Key Forward, Key Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2000–2016 Fremantle 353 (700)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2008 Dream Team 1 (0)
International team honours
2002–2003 Australia 4 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2003.
Career highlights

Club

Representative

Honours

Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Matthew Lee Pavlich (born 31 December 1981) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Fremantle Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

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 AFL 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.

Early life

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.[1]

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.[2] In 1999, he was the club's leading goalkicker.[3]

AFL career

Drafting

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)

Pavlich warming up prior to a game during the 2006 AFL season

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.[4] Pavlich achieved the rare feat of kicking 2 goals with his first 2 kicks in the AFL.[5] He went on to play the remaining 18 games for the season, earning himself a Rising star nomination in Round 17[4] while contributing consistently and finished ninth in the club's best and fairest award.[6]

The 2001 Season saw Pavlich spend more time in the forward line. He managed to underline his potential with some ball grabbing 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)

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.

Pavlich flies high for a mark against Melbourne in 2008

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.[7] 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)

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.

Matthew Pavlich kicks for goal in 2010

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.[8]

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.[9]

2009–2011

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.[10]

2012 season and 500th goal

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.[11]

2013 season

Pavlich had a frustrating start to the 2013 season after a pre-existing Achilles tendon injury resurfaced in the Dockers round three clash against Essendon, forcing Pavlich to undergo surgery. Pavlich was originally thought to be sidelined for only four to six weeks but a longer recovery time than anticipated kept him out for sixteen weeks.[12] Despite losing their leading goal kicker Fremantle remained in good form contending for a top four finish on the ladder throughout the season.[13]

Pavlich made his return during Fremantle's round 20 clash against GWS kicking two goals.[14] A win in the qualifying final against Geelong and a top 4 ladder finish saw Pavlich and the Dockers proceed to face the Sydney Swans in the preliminary finals. Pavlich played a pivotal role kicking 3 goals leading the Dockers to a 25-point victory and the clubs first ever AFL Grand Final appearance.[15] Pavlich kicked 3 goals in the Dockers 15 point loss to Hawthorn.[16]

2014 season

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.

2016 season

On 13 January 2016, Pavlich relinquished the captaincy of the Fremantle Football Club after nine seasons, and was replaced by David Mundy.[17] 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."[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] Pavlich said he planned to have a six-month break with his family before pursuing a new career outside football, stating, "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."[21]

Post-playing career

In April 2018, Pavlich was appointed the Monday–Wednesday sports presenter on Nine News Perth. He commenced in the role from Monday 16 April.[22]

In late December 2018, Pavlich was appointed as a correspondent for Nine's Wide World of Sports coverage of the Hopman Cup Tennis tournament in Perth.

Statistics

Pavlich kicking for goal in 2006
[23]
Legend
  G  
Goals
  K  
Kicks
  D  
Disposals 
  T  
Tackles
  B  
Behinds 
  H  
Handballs 
  M  
Marks
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
2000 Fremantle 29 18 14 9 138 79 217 78 17 0.8 0.5 7.7 4.4 12.1 4.3 0.9
2001 Fremantle 29 21 28 17 217 72 289 114 27 1.3 0.8 10.3 3.4 13.8 5.4 1.3
2002 Fremantle 29 22 10 10 308 104 412 124 49 0.5 0.5 14.0 4.7 18.7 5.6 2.2
2003 Fremantle 29 23 37 30 330 119 449 112 58 1.6 1.3 14.3 5.2 19.5 4.9 2.5
2004 Fremantle 29 22 19 23 306 160 466 118 67 0.9 1.0 13.9 7.3 21.2 5.4 3.0
2005 Fremantle 29 22 61 25 271 101 372 178 25 2.8 1.1 12.3 4.6 16.9 8.1 1.1
2006 Fremantle 29 25 71 37 306 89 395 196 36 2.8 1.5 12.2 3.6 15.8 7.8 1.4
2007 Fremantle 29 22 72 48 298 83 381 203 32 3.3 2.2 13.5 3.8 17.3 9.2 1.5
2008 Fremantle 29 19 67 35 263 83 346 138 32 3.5 1.8 13.8 4.4 18.2 7.3 1.7
2009 Fremantle 29 19 28 16 237 176 413 79 72 1.5 0.8 12.5 9.3 21.7 4.2 3.8
2010 Fremantle 29 23 61 35 277 158 435 111 77 2.7 1.5 12.0 6.9 18.9 4.8 3.3
2011 Fremantle 29 20 21 20 272 199 471 73 86 1.1 1.0 13.6 10.0 23.6 3.7 4.3
2012 Fremantle 29 23 69 32 257 143 400 145 66 3.0 1.4 11.2 6.2 17.4 6.3 2.9
2013 Fremantle 29 12 25 19 108 62 170 69 24 2.1 1.6 9.0 5.2 14.2 5.8 2.0
2014 Fremantle 29 22 46 26 204 123 327 123 30 2.1 1.2 9.3 5.6 14.9 5.6 1.4
2015 Fremantle 29 22 40 28 188 132 320 99 43 1.8 1.3 8.6 6.0 14.6 4.5 2.0
2016 Fremantle 29 18 31 25 152 94 246 86 57 1.7 1.4 8.4 5.2 13.6 4.8 3.2
Career 353 700 435 4132 1977 6109 2046 798 2.0 1.2 11.7 5.6 17.3 5.8 2.3

Honours and achievements

Brownlow Medal votes
Season Votes
2000
2001 2
2002 3
2003 5
2004 8
2005 14
2006 15
2007 15
2008 17
2009 10
2010 9
2011 9
2012 15
2013
2014
2015 2
2016 2
Total 126

Personal life

In 2009, many AFL footballers appeared in a television advertisement titled "AFL: In a League of its Own", which featured prominent AFL players playing Australian rules football at famous sporting venues around the world, and in the middle of other sports being played, including basketball, Association football and American football. In the advertisement, Pavlich receives the ball from a Gary Ablett Jr. kick during an international off-road rally driving event, before proceeding to kick the ball to Justin Koschitzke.[24]

Pavlich married his girlfriend of eight and a half years, Lauren O'Shannassy, in December 2010.[2][25] In 2013, their daughter was born.[26] During their arrival at the 2014 Brownlow Medal they announced that they were expecting a second child and in 2015, their first son was born, and in 2016 their second son was born.[27]

Pavlich attended Sacred Heart College (Adelaide)[28] and the University of Western Australia.[29]

References

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Walsh, Scott (9 April 2011). "Unwavering loyalty of lost legend". The Advertiser. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Eagles Honour Board". wwtfc.com.au. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b Lovett, Michael, ed. (2001). AFL 2001. Australian Football League. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-9585286-7-5.
  5. ^ Lovett, Michael, ed. (2001). AFL 2001. Australian Football League. p. 407. ISBN 0-9585286-7-5.
  6. ^ Lovett, Michael, ed. (2001). AFL 2001. Australian Football League. p. 99. ISBN 0-9585286-7-5.
  7. ^ Matthew Pavlich statistics
  8. ^ O'Donoghue, Craig. Freo's $2.5 million man reveals: Why I'm staying, The West Australian p.124, 14 August 2007.
  9. ^ AAP (5 October 2008). "Pavlich named Dockers' best". Realfooty. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
  10. ^ Clarke, Tim (9 October 2011). "Fans baffled as Pavlich voted Dockers' best". Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  11. ^ Washbourne, Michael (13 May 2012). "Matthew Pavlich kicks 500th goal as Fremantle beats Port Adelaide". PerthNow. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Huge blow for Freo as skipper sidelined - AFL.com.au". afl.com.au. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Fremantle Dockers put pressure on top four with win over Carlton; Brisbane Lions see off St Kilda". ABC News. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Match Report - Fremantle v GWS". 11 August 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Freo v Swans: Finals history". 11 September 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  16. ^ "AFL grand final 2013: Hawthorn v Fremantle as it happened". ABC News. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  17. ^ Malcolm, Alex (13 January 2016). "Pavlich steps down after nine seasons as Dockers captain". AAP. Australian Football League. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  18. ^ Schmook, Nathan (26 July 2016). "Freo legend Matthew Pavlich to leave the game 'wrung dry'". Australian Football League. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  19. ^ White, Simon (28 August 2016). "Finally a moment for Fremantle fans to celebrate as Pavlich boots 700th goal". WA Today. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  20. ^ Quartermaine, Braden (28 August 2016). "Retiring Fremantle Dockers legend Matthew Pavlich asks his teammates to 'try your guts out'". PerthNow. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  21. ^ Ceranic, Irena (28 August 2016). "Fremantle Docker Matthew Pavlich plays last game to home crowd". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  22. ^ "Former Fremantle Dockers captain joins Nine News Perth as new sports presenter". Perth Now. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Matthew Pavlich's player profile". AFL Tables.
  24. ^ "AFL Commercial 2009 - In A League Of It's [sic] Own - HD". YouTube. ALZ. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  25. ^ Pepper, Daile (8 June 2010). "It's lonely being a WAG for Pav's princess". WA Today. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  26. ^ Quartermaine, Braden (7 March 2013). "Matthew and Lauren Pavlich welcome baby daughter Harper Rose". PerthNow.
  27. ^ "Pavs add one more to squad". fremantlefc.com.au. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Matthew Pavlich: The journey to one". Fremantle Dockers Football Club. 24 July 2014.
  29. ^ Quartermaine, B. (19 February 2011). "Pavlich the one that got away". Perth Now.
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Matthew Pavlich
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