Woodville West Torrens / Fremantle
A super athlete and Fremantle’s most decorated player in its 18-year history, Matthew Pavlich is among the game’s biggest stars. His combination of size, speed and skill see him well placed to sit as one of the AFL’s best all-round talents for many seasons to come. While still underage, Pavlich represented the SANFL and was an imposing centre half forward for Woodville-West Torrens. Earmarked as a future AFL star, Pavlich was selected by Fremantle with the fourth pick in the 1999 National Draft.
He has since fulfilled such promise, starring in a number of roles for the Dockers and propelling them to their first finals series in 2003. Pavlich played his first two seasons up forward, proving to be a hard to defend player who could take marks on the lead or one-on-one. Having shown his worth as a goalkicker and occasionally in defence, Pavlich was thrown into the Fremantle midfield in 2002 with devastating effect. One of the club’s leading possession getters, Pavlich won the Dockers best and fairest and his first All Australian selection.
In 2003, he took his game to another level, booting 37 goals while still holding down a key midfield post. As a permanent forward in 2006, Pavlich kicked 71 goals and helped the Dockers to the best finish in the club’s short history. He reproduced that form with 72 majors and a fourth George Doig Medal as Dockers Best and Fairest in 2007.
Pavlich was again a dominant forward in 2008 before an extended stint in the midfield in 2009 brought further accolades. His amazing career to date has seen Pavlich named in the All-Australian team six times in an astonishing five different positions, six Doig Medals and eight club leading goal kicker awards. Now the Dockers’ career leader in games played and goals, Pavlich was as dominant as ever in 2012, with his six-goal performance spearheading the club to its first finals win in Melbourne against defending premier Geelong at the MCG. Pavlich led Fremantle to the club’s first Grand Final appearance, unfortunately losing to Hawthorn. In 2014 Matthew played his 300th game making him the only Fremantle player in their short history to reach this milestone.
One of the most recognisable people in Western Australia, Pavlich is becoming known as an excellent media performer, working with the likes of Channel 7 and the West Australian newspaper. One of adidas’ most prominent AFL players, a combination of skill, intelligence and looks make Pavlich one of the AFL’s most marketable players. He has also recently fronted a successful advertising campaign for Homeloans and is one of the most accomplished corporate and leadership speakers around.
Pavlich is married to wife Lauren and they welcomed a daughter Harper, on the eve of the 2013 AFL Season.