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From nothing to the AFL, Pearce notches 200

Danyle Pearce reflects on his journey to the AFL ahead of his 200th AFL game. Danyle Pearce is grateful to reach 200 AFL games
Danyle Pearce of the Dockers celebrates a goal during the 2014 AFL round 01 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on March 14, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Danyle Pearce will play his 200th AFL game on Sunday.

On the eve of his 200th AFL game, Danyle Pearce admits he’s taken a moment to reflect on his rise to the AFL.

The skilful Freo midfielder will notch the milestone at the Gabba against Brisbane on Sunday.

He played 154 games for Port Adelaide from 2006-2012 before joining Ross Lyon and Fremantle for the 2013 season.

One of only two Freo players to have played every game in the past two seasons, along with Ryan Crowley, Pearce said the 200-game mark had crept up on him.

“It feels really quick, I’ve been fortunate not to have any major injuries so it’s come around quickly,” he said.

“Going into this week, when I realised it was coming, you reflect a little bit.

“A kid coming up from nothing, not expecting much when I first started, and to be able to look back and say you’ve played 200 games, it’s an achievement in itself.”

Pearce took out the Rising Star award in 2006 and played in the Power’s losing 2007 AFL Grand Final. He was a runner-up again in 2013 with Freo.

He said he was honoured to be able to run out for the milestone, but his only focus was helping Freo defeat the Lions.

That task was made more difficult with the news Michael Barlow will miss the rest of the home and away season with a broken thumb.

Pearce said every player in the team knew what they had to do.

“Everyone has to step up,” he said.

“The next person that steps in has a role to play and the whole midfield group has to step up.

“We’ve shown over the past few years that when someone does fall out or get injured, players have filled their role and everyone stepped up.”

Brisbane had a 100-point loss to Adelaide two weeks ago but ambushed Collingwood at the MCG last Saturday night for a 10-goal win.

Pearce said the results showed how important it was to show up with your best on game day.

“It just shows that you have to be at 100 per cent, no matter who you are playing,” he said.

We were off against St Kilda and lost that one.

“We can’t look past Brisbane, we’ve got to beat them to have any chance of remaining in the top four.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs