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Unhappy Hawks under new ownership
Unhappy Hawks under new ownership

Matthew Pavlich yesterday became the first Fremantle player and only the 51st ever in VFL/AFL history to kick 500 goals.

Although it didn't need that milestone to confirm his status as the best Docker of all time, it was a nice dollop of cream on the cake.

POLL: Is Pavlich on track to be an AFL great?

Michael Malthouse got people talking last week after appearing on Channel Seven and ranking his five most influential" West Coast Eagles of all time.

Of course naming Fremantle's best half dozen or so is a much easier exercise.

Unfortunately for fans and a succession of coaches the Dockers depth has run far less deep since their arrival in 1995.

Unlike West Coast, where even the number one spot is hotly disputed by as many as five or six stars, Pavlich's six Best and Fairest awards are like a rubber stamp to his being número uno in Freo's galaxy.

Mind you Peter Bell isn't all that far behind. Bell won the Doig medal 3 times. He still remains my wife's favourite player!

Pete may think that's faint praise but I've known the woman a long time and I'd take that ahead of seven Doigs. Then again I suppose I have to!

Paul Hasleby would rank third. Never a B&F but he was twice runner-up and once third. Paul was a star from his first season (2000) when he easily won the AFL Rising Star award.

Although injuries did him no favours Hasleby was invariably at his best when it came to the Dockers most significant challenge, games against the Eagles.

He retired with a record four Glendinning Medals to his name.

Aaron Sandilands is almost all things Hasleby was not, other than very good.

I'd list him a close fourth with time enough to climb one or two places higher.

With one Doig already (twice runner-up) the three time All Australian is the best in what's a very tough genre.

His demeanor on the footy field is fascinating. A rare combination of fierce competitor and the quintessential gentle giant.

I've got a photo finish at number five between Luke McPharlin and Shane Parker. And because this is my blog I see no reason to split them.

Ben Allen is certainly worthy of a mention too.

Just an outstanding player at Hawthorn his time at Fremantle was a painful (literally) experience.

Unfortunately for the Dockers inaugural captain his knees retired several seasons before he did.

DENNIS' TOP DOCKERS

1. Matthew Pavlich
2. Peter Bell
3. Paul Hasleby
4. Aaron Sandilands
5. Luke McPharlin AND Shane Parker

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