After 290 games, the Dockers captain is finally into his first grand final - only three other players have had to wait longer.
But the 31-year-old knows better than anyone that all the goodwill coming his way will count for nothing once Hawthorn come at them on Saturday afternoon at the MCG.
"It's nice, but there's no place for sentiment in football - well, very rarely there is," he said.
"Just because someone deserves something, doesn't mean they're going to get it.
"It's about reward for effort for our entire group.
"Everyone has their own individual story, as do the Hawthorn players and clearly ... we're looking to write our own story over the next 24 hours."
Pavlich always had faith that if he persisted, one day this moment would come.
"If you work hard enough and long enough and keep toiling at the things that get you reward, then of course you have belief," he said.
"We're as excited as the fans who have been with us for 19 long years."
Injury has restricted Pavlich to only 11 games this season - the lowest of his outstanding career.
But he has timed his run perfectly, playing the last five games, and is supremely confident about Fremantle's chances.
"We know what it takes - we're up against a talented team who want to (atone) for a loss last year and that's a lethal combination," he said.
"We believe if we play four quarters of our brand of football, then it will stand up close to the end."
One of the keys to coach Ross Lyon's success at Fremantle has been the total support of senior players such as Pavlich.
With the six-time All-Australian on board, his team-mates quickly followed.
"He's been a special player," Lyon said.
"When the club had no resources and not the support it has now, he's helped steer them through.
"So it would be fantastic for Matthew as it would be for everybody, but unfortunately sentiment is not going to get it done.
"There's no such thing as destiny.
"The only thing that's going to count on Saturday is unrelenting action and Matthew will lead that."
THE CAREER OF FREMANTLE CAPTAIN MATTTHEW PAVLICH:
* DOB: 31/12/81
* Fremantle's first-round selection in 1999 national draft, fourth overall
* AFL debut: 2000
* 290 senior games, 580 goals
* Six-time Fremantle best and fairest winner
* Six-time All-Australian
* Eight-time Fremantle leading goalkicker
* Fremantle captain since 2007
* Fourth-most games before first AFL grand final (Paul Roos 314, Shane Crawford 305, Paul Williams 294).