Push for the flag incentive for McPharlin
Luke McPharlin. Pic: Getty Images/WA News

Star Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin is keen to sign a new contract to remain part of a premiership push, surpassing what he had previously predicted as a retirement date in 2012.

Fresh from snaring his first All-Australian selection on Monday night, the only Docker named after the shock omission of captain Matthew Pavlich, McPharlin revealed he would have recovered from his ham- string injury in time to play in this weekend's preliminary final had the team won through against Adelaide.

But the 30-year-old said his career had enjoyed a fresh boost under coach Ross Lyon and was anxious to continue into a 14th senior season. Just three games shy of his 200-match milestone, it would most likely propel him into the top four for games played at the club.

"I like to leave it until the end of the year, so now it's all out of the way I'll chat to my manager in the next couple of weeks and hopefully get something sorted," McPharlin said.

"A couple of years ago, I probably would have said I'd wrap things up about now. But it's just been an exciting year - personally and with the team - with a new coach and I'd like to stick around for a bit longer.

"Ross Lyon was a fantastic acquisition for us and I think he's instilled a culture of excellence at Fremantle that we've never seen before. The players want to play for him and he's got a game plan that stands up.

"From all those points of view, it's really exciting for some of the senior players to see that and I think the only way is up."

McPharlin lamented the fact that Crows forward Taylor Walker, who would have been his likely match-up in last Friday night's losing semifinal, was able to tear up the Dockers defence with five goals.

While his All-Australian honour was humbling, he was disappointed at not getting the chance this weekend to play for a spot in the grand final.

"I've sort of been around the mark a couple of times and to finally be named in the team is a big honour," he said.

"Individual accolades are something I can look back on when my career is over. To be considered among the elite crew in the competition is pretty exciting, but you'd give it back if you could play in a prelim final this week.

"It was certainly a disappointing exit for us and I'd like to think I could have helped out. I thought the boys held themselves together very well given a pretty tough couple of weeks with the travel and the like and we kept fighting right through to the end.

"From that point of view it was very impressive to watch, but I certainly would have loved to have been out there."

McPharlin also joined the chorus of critics stunned by Pavlich's absence in the All-Australian team. "Various circles were talking about him as an absolute certainty and it was a huge surprise," he said.

"But I don't think it will faze Pav too much, he'll just go about dominating as he always does and will lead us into next year, no dramas."

The West Australian

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