Pavlich to play on with Freo in 2015
Pavlich to play on with Freo in 2015

Fremantle have locked away another key player for next season with captain Matthew Pavlich agreeing to a one-year contract extension with the club.

The 32-year-old, the only WA-based AFL player to reach 300 matches, will line up for a 16th season.

Pavlich's decision follows recent Dockers re-signings, including key midfielders Nat Fyfe and David Mundy.

It is highly likely Pavlich will continue as Dockers skipper, a post he has held since 2004.

He missed last week's win over Melbourne in Darwin because of illness but is expected to return for the clash with GWS at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.

In announcing the new deal on the club website, Pavlich said his 192cm frame was fit enough for another AFL campaign.

Clearly, when you get to this age, it’s a mind and body decision,” he told FremantleFC.com.au.

“We sat down and had a bit of a chat about where I was at.

“I spoke to Ross (Lyon) and our medicos, and then I had a good chat with (wife) Lauren.

“It was more about whether or not I could keep playing my role for the team and keep playing at a reasonably high standard. That was important in the decision making process.”

But Pavlich is not looking beyond the new contract.

“This is uncharted territory, but we’ll just keep pushing forward, and as long as my mind and body are willing, I’ll keep going.

“Of course, there comes a point where the law of diminishing returns.

“Certainly, I think I entered this season with the view that it could well be my last. It’s something that we’ll keep monitoring as we go.”

And he wasn't sure whether he would retain the Fremantle captaincy next year.

Pavlich said he hadn’t thought about whether he would hand over the captaincy at the end of the season or lead for another year.

“We review that at the end of every year and heading into every pre-season,” he said.

“I’ll obviously keep it for this point in time and we’ll discuss that come year’s end and into the pre-season.

“It is a player driven thing.

“It’s voted upon and it may look a whole lot different come November, December when we do it.”

Pavlich said the mid-season retirements of contemporaries Darren Glass and Jonathon Brown had been “sharp reminders” of how quickly circumstances can change.

“Playing against those two and coming into the system at the same time, it sort of made me consider where I was at and what my thought process was,” he said.

“They’ve decided to hang them up and I think for different reasons it was certainly appropriate for them.

“But I’m still committed and as I said my mind and body are willing.”

Pavlich said he certain to return for the GWS clash.

“Early in the week (last week) I didn’t train, I think Tuesday I was crook and I felt as though I actually overcame that,” Pavlich said.

“I trained Thursday, flew up to Darwin and then woke up feeling horribly on Friday morning and sort of just rested all day in the hope that I’d sort of get better.

“I got moving on Saturday morning, ran around a bit and just knew that I wasn’t right so I ended up flying back and seeing a part of the game when I got back to Perth.

“So it wasn’t a great trip to be honest but it was great that the guys got the result.”

The West Australian

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