mulberry clemmie clutch It not over yet
At the end of the 2014 season, Luke McPharlin sat down with Fremantle senior coach Ross Lyon, sports science manager Jason Weber and club physiotherapist Dr Jeffrey Boyle to discuss his future in the AFL.
The club had just been knocked out of the premiership race by Port Adelaide. McPharlin could only watch the game because of a calf injury that held him back.
It was a similar story for the champion defender in 2012, when a hamstring strain in the final home and away game robbed him of a place in the club 2012 finals assault.
He only just made it back in time in 2013 to play in Freo Grand Final after missing rounds 16 through to 22.
Father time, it seemed, was on track to remain undefeated.
were certainly a few moments last year when I really reflected on whether it was a good time to retire, McPharlin admits.
A career in the balance was nothing new to McPharlin. He been at the crossroads before, all the way back at the beginning.
When he arrived at Freo in 2002 from Hawthorn, he came packaged with an osteitis pubis problem that threatened to derail his AFL dream before it even had a chance to get going.
It was Fremantle physio Boyle, who has been with the club since its first season and who was confident he could help McPharlin overcome the troublesome issue.
McPharlin took Boyle advice to choose a rest and management program over major surgery.
Boyle was again pivotal in influencing McPharlin decision at the end of 2014 to go on into a 16th season of AFL. He, along with Lyon and Weber, swayed McPharlin away from retirement.
pointed to this notion that I could physically get myself going, McPharlin says.
that I had a really strong program and a bit more management focus this year, it could all work out.
were able to convince me of that, so I was more than happy to continue.
Lyon has suggested the defender will be managed throughout 2015, with the prospect of sitting out some games a distinct possibility.
always want to play every game, but the past couple of years I had to concede a little bit that my body is getting older, and perhaps a full AFL season might be out of the realms of possibility, McPharlin says.
But with a gruelling pre season campaign now behind him, McPharlin has great confidence in his ability to withstand another season and, more importantly, contribute to the team right up to the final siren of 2015.
is going very well, the leg strength has been excellent and all the running has been really good, he says.
in a good place physically and mentally for the AFL season, but it can be about me, it needs to be about the football team and what best for the team.
“I certainly put my hand up for every game, but there are a lot of factors and a lot of other people that will also contribute to that decision.
McPharlin has plenty to keep himself occupied when kicking footballs and nullifying superstar AFL forwards is no longer in his job description.
He been married to wife Kalinz for eight years now and they have two daughters, five year old Willow and three year old Bronte.
And it taken almost 10 years, but he almost completed a pharmacy degree at Curtin University.
has been going for a long time, McPharlin admits.
had a conversation at the end of last year with someone high up in pharmacy at Curtin University and they reminded me that I had been at Curtin for nearly a decade and hadn got anything to show for it yet.
imagine in the next couple of years I be able to wrap up that degree.
But he hasn given a lot of thought to what he do with it.
hear hospital pharmacy can be quite interesting, and of course retail can be quite lucrative, McPharlin says.