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The forward collective

Shane Kersten has praised the work of his fellow forwards Cam McCarthy and Matt Taberner. Shane Kersten chats to the media ahead of Freo's round 9 clash against the Blues.

Fremantle’s young forward line line is continuing to advance in its development and performance, according to new recruit Shane Kersten.

With Michael Walters moving into the midfield in recent weeks, the 24-year-old Kersten has become one of the oldest in Fremantle’s forward line - working alongside McCarthy (22) and Matt Taberner (23).

Kersten and McCarthy have played just eight games together since their arrival in the 2016 Trade Period and have worked especially well since Taberner’s elevation from Peel in round seven.

“We’ve got a very young and inexperienced (forward) group,” Kersten said.

“So if we can keep building chemistry and gelling together as the weeks come, it’ll hold us in good stead come the end of the season.”

Kersten feels the addition of Taberner has paid off with the trio combining for 13 goals over the past two weeks.

“Matt’s worked very hard,” Kersten said.

“It probably didn’t go his way early in the season having to go back to the WAFL to find some form, but he played some good footy.

“He’s got his chance, and for myself and Cam, he’s another big body who can work in the forward line.

“He’s playing his role. It’s not about any one individual up there, we go out as a collective to play some good footy and help each other out.

“Matt’s doing exactly that, he’s clunking contested marks and we couldn’t ask any more of him at the moment.”

Kersten added that the arrival of Taberner has also opened the door to provide more options for Fremantle’s defenders as they look forward.

“I can get up the ground and be an outlet for defenders as we have Matt further down the ground,” Kersten said.

“He can clunk a big mark or create a contest for our small blokes to get front and square. That’s all we can ask.

“I think the past couple of weeks we’ve mixed and matched really well.

“We’ve got the look we want to have attacking the ball.”

After kicking the game winner for Fremantle against North Melbourne in round five, Kersten has followed up with two goals in each of the following three games, including last Sunday’s thrilling win over Richmond at the MCG. 

Both of Kersten’s goals against the Tigers came from tricky shots on a tight angle, but the former Cat admitted he’s still working on improving his conversion after starting the season 11.8.

“I think I’ve missed a few this year that I’d probably back myself in to kick,” Kersten said.

“Cam McCarthy and I have worked really hard at training during the week with (forwards coach) David Hale. 

“We put a lot of effort into that sort of stuff (goal kicking). We can only keep practicing it at training and implement it into the game when we get the chance.”

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