“That’s been proven with Aaron over the years. I’ve heard all the hype about Aaron, guess what, I don’t see any premiership cups in the cupboard.” - Ross Lyon
Fremantle have to stop focusing on individuals or its trophy cabinet would continue to remain bare.
That was the blunt assessment from coach Ross Lyon as the Dockers searched for reasons behind their 29-point loss to Collingwood at the MCG today.
And the man Fremantle have relied on more than any, captain Matthew Pavlich, revealed inner demons have taunted him on whether his days as a major goal-kicking forward were numbered.
Lyon was scathing on the fact the club had for too long relied on individual efforts to measure performance and that was why they were still searching for the ultimate success.
He used injured ruckman Aaron Sandilands as the player to emphasise the point.
“There is no great hope or saviour outside of the team here,” he said.
“We’re about who plays and gets it done. Football clubs who rely on one person … it’s not what we’re about or I’m about.
“We’re about those that are available going down and getting it done and we assess from there. There’s no waving the magic wand on one player who’s on our list.
“That’s been proven with Aaron over the years. I’ve heard all the hype about Aaron, guess what, I don’t see any premiership cups in the cupboard.”
As Pavlich enters the twilight of his stellar career, he again led the Dockers superbly with a bag of five goals against the Pies, exactly three weeks after a six-goal haul highlighted a shock win over Richmond at the same venue.
The skipper has been cast this season to a more prominent forward role after balancing time in the midfield during recent seasons.
“I think even the most successful people in life have doubt at some point, so I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some level of doubt,” a candid Pavlich said after the match.
“I think most players turn up with a sick feeling in their stomach prior to a game with some level of doubt anyway. But I’ve got a fair bit of inner belief to counter that little guy that talks in your head every now and then to shut him up so that I can do it.
“I don’t really want to talk about individual stuff too much, but I always love playing at the MCG. We don’t really get the opportunity too much, so to be able to get out here, the boys really love it.”
Pavlich has now kicked more goals (517) than any other WA-based AFL player, passing Peter Sumich's mark with West Coast (514).
Lyon accidentally called his captain “Mavlich” when asked how proud he was of the individual performance. But he was more serious when getting to the point.
“I don’t want to be flippant because we are hurting,” Lyon said.
“His playing career, and it’s self-evident, it stands on its own. It’s the expectation and the goals are a bonus.
“Since I walked through the door he’s been nothing but embracing and driving the group. It’s a really good effort.”