Sport AFL Matthew Pavlich stands down as Dockers captain
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Matthew Pavlich stands down as Dockers captain

AAP
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Fremantle’s longest-serving captain Matthew Pavlich will relinquish his role as skipper after leading the club for nearly a decade.

Pavlich confirmed he would not be seeking a 10th season as captain of the club, which he has led since 2007.

A six-time Doig Medallist and All-Australian, Pavlich led the club to its first Grand Final appearance in 2013 and minor premiership in 2015.

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Of his 335 games so far, Pavlich has captained the Dockers in 189 of them.

The 2015 Brownlow winner is rumoured to be Pavlich's replacement. Photo: AAP
The 2015 Brownlow winner is rumoured to be Pavlich’s replacement. Photo: AAP

The 34-year-old, who contemplated retirement last year before deciding to play on for a 17th season, said it was the right time for a change.

“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,” Pavlich said.

“As an AFL player you must commit entirely to the cause and that’s magnified even further as a captain.

“Both mentally and physically it takes its toll and, given where my body is at, I also need to be focused on getting the best out of myself to ensure that my on field play continues to benefit the team.”

Only five players have captained more AFL games than Pavlich, who said he was happy to continue in the Dockers’ leadership group if the players elected him to it.

Fremantle’s playing group will elect a new captain in the coming weeks, with David Mundy and Nathan Fyfe among the frontrunners.

Nat Fyfe has been widely touted as the man likely to skipper for the Dockers in 2016.

-ABC

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