Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says sentiment may play a part in team selection for Matthew Pavlich’s final AFL game next weekend.
Club icon and Dockers games record-holder Pavlich was rested from Saturday’s 92-point away loss to Greater Western Sydney, but will play his 353rd and final match next Sunday at home to the Western Bulldogs.
“It will be an emotional week,” Lyon said.
“I can still remember (rugby league legend Wayne) Pearce that played for Balmain years ago.
“I saw his last game and the emotion of the fans.
“It’s a significant week and obviously out of the wreck you’re looking for some purpose.
“(Pavlich’s last game) should give us real purpose and bit of an emotional hook to see it out towards the end.”
He revealed some long-time teammates of Pavlich who haven’t played recently might get a recall.
He mentioned Tendai Mzungu and Nick Suban, who haven’t been picked for the past four senior games and Matt de Boer, whose only appearance in the past 11 matches was for Pavlich’s 350th.
“But we’ll look to balance that up. I think we can’t be stupid about it, but it’s something we’ll consider,” Lyon said.
“We certainly did that with Matt de Boer on Pav’s 350th. That was a bit more of an emotional pick.
“There’s always room for sentiment and emotion, but there’s always an opportunity cost.”
He didn’t want to again put pressure on injury-plagued Anthony Morabito, who has played only 26 games in almost seven seasons, after admitting he had probably done that with comments earlier in the year.
“Anthony probably felt the walls closing in on him and felt pressure and I feel that’s really unfair on Anthony,” Lyon said.
Lyon praised the efforts on Saturday of first-year players Darcy Tucker and Shane Yarran, with the latter kicking an AFL career-best three goals, all in the first quarter.