Coach backs Pav to break 300-game mark - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach backs Pav to break 300-game mark

Justin Chadwick 29/06/2011 07:19:30 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey predicts Matthew Pavlich will become the first Western Australia-based player to crack the magical 300-game mark in the AFL.

Players from West Coast and Fremantle have traditionally struggled to play well into their 30s, with former Eagles Glen Jakovich (276 games), Guy McKenna (267) and Drew Banfield (265) the only ones to make it past 260 games.

Pavlich, who is contracted until the end of 2014, will line up for game 250 in Saturday's clash with Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium.

Harvey believed the 29-year-old's body was in such good shape that he'd be able to push well beyond the 300-game mark in the coming years.

"He hasn't had a major injury as such," Harvey said on Wednesday.

"His knees and ankles are quite good after a long period of time at this level.

"You don't want to put the mozz on him now, but I would have thought he would play 300 games. Probably go straight past it for that matter."

Harvey will consider making up to five changes from the team that beat Brisbane by 23 points last week.

Hayden Ballantyne, Tendai Mzungu and Antoni Grover are all on track to return from injury while Jonathon Griffin will replace Aaron Sandilands in the ruck.

Defender Luke McPharlin is still a slim chance to take on the Suns despite injuring his groin last week, but midfielder Michael Barlow is expected to be given another week off after pulling up sore from his AFL comeback a fortnight ago.

Barlow, who is tied to the club until the end of 2014 after signing a two-year contract extension on Tuesday, denied he had developed a hot spot in the leg he broke last year.

"Nah I haven't. I think you'd be in a moon boot with that kind of stuff," Barlow said.

"I was just a little bit sore after the game (against Melbourne) but it's something you play through and push on with.

"The medicos and sport science guys thought we'd look after me and see how to manage me to get the best out of me forthe rest of the season."

Despite their horror injury toll, Fremantle are still relatively well placed in seventh spot and would move to an 8-6 win-loss record with victory over the Suns.

Harvey said it was important for the team to set up their season now before tough clashes with Sydney, West Coast, Hawthorn and St Kilda following next week's bye.

"You don't want to be a team that gets to round 20, 21, 22 and having to win your last three in a row and having to deal with that expectation and pressure," Harvey said.

"As we know we're playing a lot of the top sides from here on beyond Gold Coast so it's all in front of us."

Harvey warned his team not to under-estimate Gold Coast, who have won two games this season and shown glimpses of hot form in others.

"They've sort of been indifferent at times but when they're on they get some really good momentum shifts in games and they can kick goals quickly," Harvey said.

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