No focus on games record: Pav
Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich has downplayed the significance of his record-breaking appearance against Adelaide this Saturday, saying four premiership points will mean more to him than breaking the club’s games record.
Pavlich will pass former full-back Shane Parker’s 238-game mark at AAMI Stadium in round three, further strengthening his status as the club’s greatest ever player.
But while it will be a special moment to play in front of friends and family in his hometown, Pavlich said ensuring a win this week was his sole focus after letting the points slip against Geelong in round two.
“I don’t want to be dismissive or disrespectful at all to the record, but right at this point it doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Pavlich said from Fremantle Oval on Monday.
“The win on Saturday night and the win this [Saturday] night are going to mean a lot more to me than any record ever will.
“Shane Parker was a terrific servant and unbelievably highly regarded at this football club, [and] it’s been nice to speak to him over the past week to hear his typically understated thoughts on the games record.
“But to break it for me, it’s just another game and we need the four points.”
Pavlich said a full-time commitment to the game and meticulous preparation and recovery habits had allowed him to reach the club record in his 12th AFL season.
The 29-year-old has missed just eight games since making his debut in round 5, 2000, with 19 games his lowest season tally since that year (in 2008 and 2009).
“It’s not only the little things – physic, yoga, down the beach, massage – it’s more about getting a large training volume in, having a lot of luck, having the right people around you,” he said.
“It’s all the things that people don’t see.”
Pavlich starred for Fremantle against Geelong with 28 possessions and a goal in his record-equalling game, but inaccuracy in front of goal cost the side, with Pavlich among the culprits.
The skipper said Fremantle was performing the fundamentals well – “contested possession, tackling pressure, forward half pressure” – but needed to be more efficient in front of goals.
He said the club had quickly moved on from a bungled Michael Walters mark on the goalline in the final minutes that cost the side a goal.
“Everyone makes errors of judgement – I’ve made many in my time out on the field,” Pavlich said.
“He was pretty distraught, but we move on and he’s been a very valuable player for us in the first two weeks and I’m sure he will be going forward.
“He thought a Geelong player was quite close to him, so he thought that he was going to have to make a contest at least, to either shepherd or take the mark.”
Pavlich said 1-1 was a fair indication of where Fremantle deserved to be heading to Adelaide to face the Crows, a club that the star forward has continually been linked to throughout his time in Perth.
But as he prepares to break his club’s games record, Pavlich, who signed a four-year deal to stay with Fremantle late last season, said there had rarely been times he considered playing his football anywhere else.
“One of the family values I have is that if you start something and you certainly think it’s worthwhile then you might as well see it through,” he said.
“I’ve always loved this football club. The opportunity to have sustained success for a prolonged period is really important and hopefully I’m at the forefront of that.”