Former Docker Adam McPhee has no regrets about his shock retirement from Fremantle, despite missing the club's first grand final.
McPhee signed a one-year contract last October only to walk out on the club less than a month later so his family could return to Victoria.
The 223-game veteran and son Taj will take part in the retiring player's motorcade around the MCG before Saturday's showpiece, placing him tantalisingly close to something he'd always dreamed about.
McPhee was confident Fremantle would take down Hawthorn, but said he was content with his decision to retire so he could spend more time with his wife and two children.
"I don't regret my decision at all to retire and move on," McPhee said.
"If I was involved with the football club, it would have been a difficult year, handling not only where the body was at but also the external pressures of making sure the family was in a good state of mind and enjoying themselves.
"The reality is I thought Fremantle were definitely going to improve and I thought they would go a couple of steps closer.
"To be involved in a premiership for the first time, yes I would have absolutely loved to be a part of that. That's the reason why I moved back there."
McPhee played in seven finals throughout his career for Fremantle and Essendon but never advanced beyond the semifinals.
Now 30, he won a suburban premiership with Greenvale in the Essendon District Football League this year.
McPhee said Fremantle's talented young players were one of the reasons he left the Bombers at the end of 2009 to return to the club which drafted him.
Now working for Breon Defence Systems, McPhee almost missed the opportunity to witness the club's historic grand final appearance because he originally rejected the invitation to the pre-game motorcade.
With several family members outside Victoria, he couldn't find anyone to look after his children, but frantic calls yesterday allowed him to be there. McPhee said Fremantle had taken their defensive effort to a new level this year and would make it extremely difficult for Hawthorn to score.
He was also confident the midfield could control the stoppages and give its forwards plenty of opportunities.
"I certainly think they can win. There's no doubt about that," McPhee said.
"Fremantle play a different style of football to Hawthorn.
"I've watched Hawthorn closely this year and they're a very good team. They've got strengths right across the board.
"They do like to possess the footy, they do like to hold on to the ball, they've got great foot skills, they'll find the gaps if Fremantle aren't on their game like they were last week.
"But I think Fremantle with the way they've been playing and with their press, they can take away Hawthorn's time and space. They're every chance to win it.""I don't regret my decision at all to retire and move on." " Retired Docker *Adam McPhee *