McPharlin believes Dockers will thrive under new skipper David Mundy

2013 AFL Grand FinalFREMANTLE is set to thrive under the captaincy of on-field “general” David Mundy this season, according to retired Dockers defender Luke McPharlin.

McPharlin spent most of his 244-game Fremantle career alongside Mundy in the club’s leadership group, supporting long-time skipper Matthew Pavlich, who relinquished the position last month.

While praising Pavlich’s immense contribution, McPharlin said the playing group would have no problem following Mundy’s lead-by-example approach. “He’ll be a different leader to Pav,” McPharlin said.

“He’s not as outspoken … and Pav’s probably a more polished speaker in public.

“David prefers to let his football do the talking, and on the field, he becomes an incredible general, organiser and leader.

“I think that’s what really resonated with the playing group, and in my time playing with him, he’s come a long way in that area. The way he demands, instructs and leads on field and at training sessions has been outstanding.

“That’s what’s probably got him the gig in the end. I have no doubt he’ll thrive in the role and the players will get right behind him.”

McPharlin announced his retirement just days after missing Fremantle’s preliminary finals exit with a calf injury, and many expected Pavlich — barely a month younger — to also hang up the boots.

But McPharlin said he was confident his fellow 34-year-old had made the right call to play on into 2016.

“Pav’s a very considered person and he doesn’t make rash decisions,” McPharlin said.

“All it was for him was a question of whether he had the desire and motivation, and he clearly has. He’ll be as prominent as ever. It’s his will and desire that gets it done, and he still feels he can deliver on that, so I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

McPharlin said the acquisition of Harley Bennell and some expected refinements from coach Ross Lyon would help the Dockers remain firmly in the premiership hunt.

The 2012 All-Australian said he was pleased to see long-time teammate Ryan Crowley get a chance to extend his career at Essendon after signing as a top-up player.

“For an opportunity to pop up like this — albeit in very strange circumstances — is a great result for him,” McPharlin said. He’s thrilled to be able to play again because he certainly wasn’t done.”