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Pav s victory drive
Matthew Pavlich. Picture: Astrid Volzke

Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich says his burgeoning trophy cabinet will leave him feeling empty in retirement unless he can finish his career with team success.

Pavlich has enjoyed another stellar year and yesterday received a new car, valued at more than $40,000, after winning The West Australian/McInerney Ford Footballer of the Year.

He polled 26 votes to claim the car ahead of West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr, who received 22 votes.

It was the second time Pavlich had taken out the prestigious award and continued a stunning career which has already netted him six Doig Medals, six All- Australian jumpers and the Fremantle games, goals and captaincy records.

But his brilliant individual performances over 13 years haven't translated to team success, with Fremantle qualifying for just four finals series.

Pavlich will turn 31 in December and said Saturday night's elimination final against Geelong gave him the chance to experience what he had been craving.

The Cats suffered a blow yesterday when they accepted a one-match ban for Steve Johnson's rough conduct against Sydney midfielder Dan Hannebery last round.

"The only thing which will grant my own personal fulfilment is absolute team success," Pavlich said.

"This year has been a step in the right direction, we've been progressing well and Saturday night provides another opportunity for the guys to improve and go forward.

"You think of Fyfe, Ballantyne, Hill, Suban, de Boer who are in their third or fourth years.

"That core group of players have been here for a short time and have experienced a taste of finals already and are entering their second finals series. Unfortunately that hasn't been the same for me.

"But what that does mean is the unknowns of what the finals brings and all the other distractions that come along with it, they've dealt with before. I think that leaves us in a bit stronger position than we were a couple of years ago."

Pavlich has battled leg injuries in recent weeks but is certain to play in the cutthroat clash.

The Dockers should also regain Matt de Boer from an ankle injury, while Kepler Bradley trained yesterday after missing last week with concussion.

Antoni Grover, Alex Silvagni and Dylan Roberton are competing to replace Luke McPharlin in the back line after the veteran injured a hamstring against Melbourne on Saturday night.