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McPharlin calls time after decorated career

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LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Luke McPharlin of the Dockers runs onto the field for his 250th match with his children during the 2015 AFL round 15 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Fremantle Dockers at Aurora Stadium, Launceston, Australia on July 12, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Luke McPharlin celebrates his 250th game with his family earlier this year

FREMANTLE defender Luke McPharlin has revealed he would have been fit to play in this week's Grand Final had the Dockers made it.

McPharlin announced his retirement on Wednesday, saying his ageing body could no longer handle the rigours of elite football.

A torn calf ruled McPharlin out of the qualifying final win over Sydney, and last week's preliminary final loss to Hawthorn.

But the 33-year-old says he would have been ready to return for the premiership decider.

"I probably would have played this week if all things had gone well," McPharlin said.

"It was actually my good calf (I injured). Go figure."

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Last week, coach Ross Lyon said McPharlin would probably have been used as a forward if the Dockers had reached the Grand Final.

McPharlin also missed last year's finals series because of calf issues, but he had no regrets about playing on in 2015.

The 192cm backman managed 18 games this season, helping Fremantle win its first minor premiership.

"I couldn't have been managed any better this year. I couldn't have done anything more," McPharlin said.

"I took rests at the right time. I followed the program to the letter.

"I got some really good strengths into the calves over the off-season last year.

"So for the body to still not quite get there to September, it really was strongly indicating to me I'm past it, I'm beyond doing this anymore."

He retires after 256 games since making his debut for Hawthorn in 2000.

Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich is also expected to announce his retirement, while the futures of Paul Duffield and Ryan Crowley are also up in the air.