Matthew Pavlich of the Fremantle Dockers in action during the 2015 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium, Perth, Australia on September 25, 2015. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Matthew Pavlich has opted to relinquish the Fremantle captaincy after nine season in the role.

Pavlich advised the playing group on Wednesday that he would be stepping down, after captaining the side in 189 of his 335 career games.

The 34-year-old took several weeks off during the off-season break to consider his future, before deciding step down from the captaincy after already committing to playing on in 2016.

“First and foremost, it’s the right time for the football club – the right time for me to step aside and allow a new player or players the opportunity to lead,” Pavlich said.

“I have absolutely loved the honour and privilege of captaining Fremantle for the past nine years. Leading the boys out onto the field was always a highlight of my week.

“After considering my playing future last year and the ever increasing responsibilities I have as a father, finalising my university studies and my role as president of the AFL Players’ Association, it is just the right time for both the club and myself.

“As an AFL player you must commit entirely to the cause and that’s magnified even further as a captain. Both mentally and physically it takes its toll and, given where my body is at, I also need to be focused on getting the best out of myself to ensure that my on field play continues to benefit the team.”

Pavlich has captained the sixth most games in league history.

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