You know how they have a postage stamp for great Australians, and they have ‘Australian Living Legends’? Even though Freo is a relatively young Club, it seems to me that it is time to honour its first “Legend” and in this case a “Freo Living Legend”.
Ladies, gentlemen and other Dockerlanders, I give you Matthew J Pavlich.
On the FFC website, the ‘Club Records’ to the end of season 2012 say the following:
Games – Matthew Pavlich – 279
Consecutive Games – Matthew Pavlich – 160
Total Goals – Matthew Pavlich – 558
Most Games as Captain – Matthew Pavlich – 133
He blots his copybook by not having “most goals kicked in a game” (Tony Modra 10), but another decent Derby win will see him top the 8 from last season.
Now, to put these records in perspective, FFC has played (to the end of 2012) 404 games (including finals). The great man has played in 69% of all those games, nearly 40% of them consecutively, and nearly 33% of them as captain.
He has, single-handedly, scored almost 11% of all goals scored for Freo (558 out of 5158) and (fortunately) only 7% of the behinds (337 out of 4654).
I don’t have the relevant data available but I suspect that he is the longest serving player in any specified Guernsey number.
Now, that impressive record does almost speak for itself, but surely with a good Slav name like ‘Pavlich’ that just adds the cream on top of the cake for the Fremantle (and Cockburn) region?
Could there be another player in the history of the VFL-AFL (or WAFL) with such a record? Given that he is likely to enhance it this season, surely he should be honoured now, as well as at the end of his career.
His past record off the football field would suggest that he would eschew (ie knock back) the accolade, but it’s worthy of praise in any event, don’t you think?
One of the great players of the AFL and already a Legend of our Club!