Freo's future bright, insists McPharlin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Freo's future bright, insists McPharlin

By Justin Chadwick 18/08/2009 05:17:39 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin is adamant there's still time for him to taste premiership success before his AFL career is over.

Despite describing last week's 63-point loss to Melbourne as a debacle, McPharlin was confident the Dockers' recent investment in youth would yield dividends in the not-too-distant future.

McPharlin will notch his 150th game when he lines up against Essendon on Sunday and the 27-year-old was confident Fremantle's developing side would only improve over the coming years.

"I'd like to think that players such as myself or around the same age - (Matthew) Pavlich, (Aaron) Sandilands - would be able to experience some success in the coming years provided we're able to put it together on the field," McPharlin said.

"I think that there are a lot of things moving in the right direction and we need to keep that in perspective.

"Ideally I'd like to play for a few more years, provided everything goes well and provided I'm still a required player.

"We've had our ups and downs at Fremantle but I've certainly enjoyed playing here."

Fremantle entered last Sunday's MCG clash with Melbourne as favourites after brushing aside Port Adelaide a week earlier.

But a tired Dockers outfit was blown off the park by the bottom-of-the-ladder Dees, with McPharlin admitting the loss simply wasn't good enough.

"We can't hide from the fact it was an embarrassing performance to lose to a side that we should have beaten really over there with our current run of form," he said.

"(Sunday) was a debacle, there's no doubt about that, and we were certainly very disappointed with the result.

"It just shows how important everyone in the team is, and when a couple of efforts aren't up to par the rest of us fall by the wayside."

McPharlin, taken by Hawthorn with pick No.10 in the 1999 national draft before being traded to Fremantle in 2001, doubted whether he would be able to carve out a career in the AFL after struggling with osteitis pubis during his time at the Hawks.

But the key defender, who has also been used to great effect as a pinch-hitting forward throughout his career, quickly established himself as one of Fremantle's most important players.

"There were a couple of times where I thought I would struggle to get there, just getting my body right," McPharlin reflected.

"But I thank a lot of people for helping me along the journey, in particular our esteemed physio Jeffrey Boyle, who has been sensational in getting me back.

"He was absolutely critical.

"He basically took me back to scratch and built up my core stability and allowed time for everything to sort of right itself."

The Dockers will be without Dean Solomon (knee) against the Bombers but will regain Roger Hayden from injury and Hayden Ballantyne from suspension.

Essendon have been dealt a massive triple blow, with Dustin Fletcher (hamstring), Paddy Ryder (knee) and Courtenay Dempsey (hamstring) all to miss the trip west.

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