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Consistency the goal

Travis King, afl.com.au  March 7, 2018 7:15 PM

Matthew Taberner addressed the media on Wednesday.

Fremantle tall forward Matt Taberner is determined to narrow the gap between his best and worst performances in a bid to nail down a spot this season.

Taberner has shown glimpses during his 53-game, 52-goal career without finding the consistency required to become a regular in the starting 22.

But the 197cm big man took confidence from an encouraging finish to last year, and is eyeing the vacant forward-ruck spot in Ross Lyon's outfit.

"I've had 50-odd games now in the AFL, so I think I have enough experience and know what needs to be done to get a performance," Taberner said. 

"It does take a few years if you come in with a pretty light frame like I did six years ago.

"Now I've got to a point where I feel strong and capable to take marks and perform well.

"In the AFL you can't have those (quiet) performances, even bad games you still need to contribute in some ways.

"It's about closing that gap and being consistent."

Taberner's 2017 campaign was a rollercoaster. 

The 24-year-old started in the WAFL, but was called up in round seven and took seven contested marks and booted four goals against Essendon.

 Despite dominating for the Thunder – including a three-game stint averaging 25 touches, 11 marks and four goals - Taberner had to wait until round 21 for a recall.

His hard-working performances in the last three games were a bright spot for Freo, and he appears to have carried that form into 2018.

Taberner slotted three goals in the JLT Community Series against Adelaide and impressed during Sunday's scratch match win over West Coast.

"Going back to Peel I had to keep positive and have a strong mindset. You can't crack it, that won't do you any good," Taberner said.

"I was still confident I could play good AFL football because I'd done it in the past. 

"I feel like going into the second half of last year I gained a bit of momentum with my own form. 

"Not only in the AFL when I came back in, but also in the WAFL, which does give me a bit of confidence."

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