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Pavlich a true leader, says De Boer
Matthew Pavlich leading the line against Geelong last Saturday. Pic: Getty Images

Fremantle utility Matt de Boer has praised the influence of skipper Matthew Pavlich, saying the 278-game veteran epitomises what it means to be an AFL leader.

Pavlich was at his inspirational best in last week’s shock 16-point win over Geelong, booting six goals for the match to help Fremantle qualify for Friday night’s semi-final showdown against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

The 30-year-old has battled a series of leg issues over the past month, but de Boer said Pavlich’s rehab work was first-class and set a great example for the rest of the group.

“He’s a great captain and a great bloke as well,” said de Boer, who is part of Fremantle’s six-man leadership group.

“He stands up whenever we need him to.

“He’s a very modest bloke who’ll never take any of the credit, but he deserves a lot.

“He’s trucking along nicely.

“He’s really diligent with his preparation and he’s the epitome of being a leader. He’ll make sure he ticks every box and then some.”

Fremantle blitzed Geelong with the opening seven goals of last week’s elimination final, and the Dockers plan to make an equally frenetic start against Adelaide this week.

“Being able to start well in foreign territory is crucial because it takes the crowd out of it,” de Boer said.

“Adelaide have had a great season.

“They haven’t lost two in a row yet this year so it’s going to be a key focus right from the start to make sure we bring our great effort and hopefully sustain it.”