Fremantle forward Matt Taberner has revealed one of his stranger habits in the latest episode of Old Bull, Young Buck.
Commonly known as the ‘weirdest unit at the Club’, Taberner revealed just one reason why his teammates are often bemused by his actions.
As with many of Taberner’s eccentricities, there’s an element that makes perfect sense, with the key forward stating that he absolutely refuses to eat anything that isn’t grown in Australia.
“Yeah I’m fussy and I try to do that (eat Australian-only food),” Taberner said.
“Obviously when you travel you can't, that's out of your control. But always as a kid, it would have to be Australian produce.
“It's not a phobia of other countries or anything like that, you just don't want it sitting in shipping, you want fresh produce and to support locals.”
It’s a stance the 28-year-old has had for as long as he can remember, going as far as sifting through the bin to check the labels of food his parents gave him as a child.
“Mum would try and tuck it away deep into the bin and I’d catch her out. I’d refuse to eat it and throw it out,” Taberner said.
“It's something I try to do still but there's things you can't control like when you travel and are in the team hotel but with most products, I can tell you where they're made.”
While Tabs is most commonly referred to as ‘Wayne’ or ‘Duck’ – a name given to him after he earned comparisons to Wayne Carey early in his career - he explained another nickname given to him by former senior coach Ross Lyon, which later became the name of his fantasy NFL team.
“The autumn leaves (nickmane) was a good one that that dates back to 2014,” Taberner said.
“Ross one post-game said ‘Tabs, you're like autumn leaves mate’ - I didn't know what he was going on about and then he proceeded to rake the ground and said ‘you're always on the ground!’
“The 'Duck' one, that's probably more down to Tommy Sheridan. After one pretty good game, which was rare back then, my head was a bit big and I had a bit of swagger and Ross said 'you looked like Duck down there mate' and Tommy just went with it. Even the game plan had an area called 'Duck's pond' for which was a hotspot for the ball to get kicked.”
Taberner added that he felt the nickname was over the top.
“I wouldn't even carry Wayne Carey's boot bag to the game!”