Dockers extend Pavlich's midfield role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dockers extend Pavlich's midfield role

By Justin Chadwick 28/05/2008 04:07:21 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich is set for an extended midfield role after coach Mark Harvey conceded the Dockers needed a strong onballer to arrest the AFL club's shocking clearance record this season.

Despite the ruck dominance of Aaron Sandilands, who has averaged more than 33 hit-outs a game this season, the Dockers are ranked last in the league for clearances and have mustered just the single win from nine rounds of football.

Pavlich has been used through the midfield at various times this season - most notably when the game is on the line - and Harvey said he would look to employ the powerful 26-year-old in the heat of the battle for longer.

"(There's) always a topic of debate at selection whether he's in the forward line - a lot of clubs like to see him out of the forward line but we understand we need to rectify the clearance areas," Harvey said.

"It's fair to say he's more than likely to spend more than 50 per cent in and around stoppage areas."

Pavlich has kicked 30 goals this season but the return to form of ex-Magpie Chris Tarrant, who has booted 10 goals in the past three rounds, has given Harvey more confidence in his team's forward structure.

Meanwhile, feisty midfielder Josh Carr will return for Sunday's home clash against Port Adelaide after serving a three-match suspension for kneeing Geelong's Gary Ablett.

Harvey said he had spoken to Carr about his unhealthy tribunal record and said the vice-captain needed to curb his ill-disciplined game style.

"I just think the niggle - Josh has to concede that," he said.

Harvey also believed Carr's absence had cost Fremantle at least one win.

"We would have won one more (game with him in the side) because he specialises in and around that sort of game (when it comes down to the wire)," Harvey said.

"In the last quarter he's the guy that really lifts under those circumstances."

Defender Steven Dodd (calf) is likely to miss the Power clash but Marcus Drum could make a return to the senior side after missing a week with a hamstring injury.

Veteran Shaun McManus is in doubt with a sore knee but former Bomber Mark Johnson will be considered after serving a two-match suspension he picked up in the WAFL.

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