Fremantle veteran Matthew Pavlich has revealed he offered to quit earlier this season, only to be talked out of it by coach Ross Lyon and football operations manager Chris Bond.
Pavlich offered to walk away after the shock round-five loss to Carlton, which left the Dockers nursing a 0-5 record and no hope of winning the premiership.
Lyon and Bond were keen for Pavlich to play on, and the 34-year-old committed to seeing the season out.
“We obviously weren’t going that well and it’s certainly not in my character to step out and check out,” Pavlich said.
“It’s not in my DNA to flick the bails.
“But I said to them, ‘Is it time for some other younger kids to play? And if that’s the case let’s shake hands and walk away’.
“But amongst us all we committed to play on and we’re going to stick to that, and that’s certainly to see the season out.”
Pavlich will notch his 350-game milestone in next week’s home clash with Sydney.
The six-time All-Australian quashed speculation he would retire after reaching the milestone, saying he was now fully committed to playing out the season.
Instead, Pavlich will be rested from this week’s trek to the Gold Coast, and the round 22 clash with GWS in Sydney.
“I’m not entirely sure where some of the other scuttlebutt has come from. But really keen to play the season out and see that through,” Pavlich said.
Pavlich will end his decorated career as one of the greatest players to have ever featured in VFL/AFL ranks.
But he’ll leave without a premiership – not that it’s an overly sore point.
“No bad taste,” Pavlich replied when asked about missing out on a flag.
“I mean everyone wants to win a premiership, that’s the ultimate goal.
“Unfortunately it won’t be the case. But I’ve tried to never define myself by results, I’m not necessarily defined by football.
“Ultimately the test for me will be as a father and a husband, and hopefully that’s been pretty good up until this point, and I continue to do so.”
Pavlich has been a solid rather than spectacular contributor for the Dockers this season.
In 14 games, the veteran forward has booted 24 goals and averaged 13 possessions.
It’s a far cry from what he produced in his prime, but Pavlich said it was just part of getting older.
The Dockers currently sit 16th on the table with a 3-13 record, but Pavlich is optimistic they can bounce back quickly next year.