Fremantle’s senior players have vowed to push for the ultimate success, with key defender Luke McPharlin declaring the Dockers’ premiership window open as they enter the twilight of their careers.

In a more upbeat assessment of Fremantle’s potential than that given by skipper Matthew Pavlich this week, McPharlin said the Dockers had the ability to make history and win their first flag in “a small window of opportunity over the next few years”.

The East Fremantle product is one of a group of success-starved senior Fremantle players aged 28 and above, including the club’s two most important players in Aaron Sandilands and Pavlich as well as veterans Antoni Grover, Roger Hayden and Adam McPhee.

McPharlin, 29, said the sudden decline and retirement of teammate Paul Hasleby at the same age last season had been a poignant reminder to the senior players that their careers won’t last forever.

“There’s definitely been that feeling for the past couple of years, actually,” he said.

“We’re all around the same sort of age and we appreciate we have a small window of opportunity in the next few years to do something special and we’d love to be a part of it.

“We need to capitalise on what we have from a talent point of view at the moment. We know that there’s probably a few years here where we can do something, and we need to make the most of that.”

Fremantle had the oldest squad in the competition in Mark Harvey’s first full year as coach in 2008, before a radical rebuild based around the draft.

Harvey’s balancing act has seen a core of senior players retained, while handing debuts to 18 youngsters over the past two seasons.

The Dockers are now tasked with making consecutive finals series for the first time in their history.

McPharlin, who starred in Freo’s celebrated elimination final triumph over Hawthorn last September, when he blanketed superstar Lance Franklin, said it was important the club continued to set the bar higher.

“It was a big occasion and it was great that we all stood up on the day and won that final and it was great for the club and the supporters,” he said.

“But we need to continue to go down that track; we can’t be satisfied with just that result.”

McPharlin has returned to the club’s leadership group in 2011, after stepping down last year for personal reasons following the birth of his first child.

“Given I’ve had a year to get my head around fatherhood, I feel like I’m able to give a bit more of myself again in terms of the leadership role,” he said.

Relishing one of the few full pre-seasons of his injury-interrupted career, McPharlin said he is confident the backline will stand up without departed Chris Tarrant.

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