Pavlich's 200th to fire up Freo: Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pavlich's 200th to fire up Freo: Harvey

By Justin Chadwick 01/05/2009 07:46:20 PM Comments (0)

As the song goes: it's a fine line between pleasure and pain.

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey hopes his juggling act of emotions will have his team singing a winning tune by the end of Saturday's AFL western derby.

Harvey said he would use the emotion surrounding skipper Matthew Pavlich's 200-game milestone to help inspire his troops against West Coast.

But the coach also wants his charges to play with the spirit of Rhys Palmer, who was left heartbroken on Monday after learning he had suffered a season-ending knee injury.

"It's interesting just having a look at the photo of Rhys there and to think in a couple of hours' time Rhys is actually getting operated on," Harvey told a pre-derby luncheon on Friday.

"I've spoken to eight or 10 of our younger players just to make sure they play in the same vein as Rhys does.

"It's a big operation for him to go through and it's unfortunate, but I think with his mental capacity we'll see him come back a better player."

Pavlich, a six-times All-Australian and winner of five best and fairest awards, becomes just the third player to notch 200 games for the Dockers, with club stalwarts Shane Parker (238 games) and Shaun McManus (228 games) the others.

"Milestones are important and significant, none more so than this with Pavlich," Harvey said.

"He's a guy that's probably a legend of this football club so you draw upon a few things when you go into a game like this.

"Matthew playing 200 games is significant from our point of view.

"I never like to make a judgement on it (whether he is the best ever Docker) until a player finishes his career but you only have to look at what he's done in the period of time he's been here to respect his contribution to the game and also Fremantle.

"Pav most of the time has to carry the burden of kicking goals, which in our team is not always easy.

"That can be very straining on a player but he doesn't get fazed by it.

"He's got a terrific character where a young team can build themselves on."

Eagles coach John Worsfold rated Pavlich as one of the best players in the competition.

"Matthew Pavlich is a champion player," Worsfold said.

"He's probably in the top 10, maybe the top five of the competition.

"Getting to 200 games is an outstanding effort.

"There's not a massive percentage of players at AFL level that get through to that."

West Coast made two changes to the team that lost to Hawthorn last week, dropping veteran Tyson Stenglein and Will Schofield for debutant Adam Cockie and Chris Masten.

Fremantle replaced Palmer with debutant Matt de Boer.

The Dockers have won five of the past six derbies but Harvey said he expected an Eagles backlash.

"Over the last couple of years we've been able to have it over them," he said.

"I think they've come to the conclusion that they've had enough of that so tomorrow will be an interesting game."

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