Docker Pavlich still coy on AFL future

Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich insists his upcoming book release isn’t a sign that he’s definitely going to retire at the end of the AFL season.

Pavlich’s autobiography – Purple Heart – will be released shortly after this year’s grand final, with the book detailing the 33-year-old’s AFL journey.

For most players, the release of an autobiography normally comes after they retire.

But Pavlich said there’s still a chance he’ll play on in 2016, although the rumour mill suggests he will hang up his boots.

“You shouldn’t read anything into that,” Pavlich replied when asked about his book release.

“I was having a discussion with the publisher only last week about the timing of it and how people will raise a few eyebrows on the back of that.

“Once the season is finished I’ll get some time away and have a think about (my future) and obviously have a chat to Ross (Lyon) about what that means for next year.”

Pavlich said watching Carlton star Chris Judd suffer a career-ending knee injury earlier this year was a stark reminder about how quickly things can end.

“You just never know where this game is going to take you,” he said.

Veteran defender Luke McPharlin will also weigh up his future at season’s end, but ruckman Aaron Sandilands has already re-signed for next year.

Pavlich will be among a raft of stars who will return for Saturday’s qualifying final against Sydney at Domain Stadium.

The 333-game veteran has battled Achilles tendon soreness in the latter part of the season.

It’s not the first time Pavlich has struggled with that problem, with the star forward missing 12 weeks in 2013 after being forced to go under the knife.

But after being rested from two of the past three games, Pavlich is feeling fresh and ready to fire in the finals.

Pavlich, a six-time All-Australian winner, will be remembered as one of the game’s greatest ever players.

But the one glaring omission from his list of bulging achievements is premiership success.

The Dockers came close in 2013 when they were beaten by Hawthorn in the grand final, and Pavlich hopes his team can go one step better this year.

“It’s a great time to be playing footy,” Pavlich said.

“The sun is out, that smell is in the air.

“There is no other place just before an AFL final where you feel more alive.”

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