A towering figure in Australia’s biggest sport for 20-plus years, Matthew Pavlich rose to prominence as the first true great of the Fremantle Dockers and today is seen as one of the AFL’s key voices.
Originally from Adelaide’s Sacred Heart College and SAFNL side Woodville-West Torrens, Pavlich was selected by Fremantle with the fourth pick in the 1999 National Draft.
His combination of size, speed and skill saw him respected as one of the AFL’s best all-round talents of the modern era. Pavlich’s versatility and talent saw him named All-Australian on six occasions, with the honours coming under a range of roles as a midfielder, key defender and forward. Superb individual output was matched by Pavlich’s role in helping build the club. He captained the Dockers for a record nine years, leading it in to September regularly including the club’s sole Grand Final berth to date in 2013. Pavlich’s 353 AFL games sits him inside the league’s top 15 players for games played all-time, with only he and Richmond great Kevin Bartlett among that select group to kick 700 goals during their illustrious careers.
After 16 years making headlines as a player, Western Australia sees Pavlich behind the desk presenting sport for Nine News Perth. Come weekends, Pavlich plays a key role for Fox Footy as an expert on their AFL match coverage, particularly for Dockers and Eagles matches played at Optus Stadium. He is also a regular on AFL Tonight on Fox Sports News, providing his take on the game’s key issues.
A former AFLPA President and a member of their board of directors, off the field Matthew has obtained a Bachelor of Science from UWA and has completed his MBA. He has also spent time on the AFL Laws of the Game Committee. Well regarded as a brand ambassador for a number of corporate organisations through his playing career and now via his media work, Pavlich has maintained a diverse range of interests which extends to work in both the business and charity sector, and in 2015 released his book, ‘Purple Heart’. Married to wife Lauren, they have three children – Harper, Jack and William.