Fremantle’s Matthew Taberner believes a revamped forward line will allow the key forward to play in a number of roles in 2019.
Taberner, who has signed a contract extension until the end of the 2021 season, is expected to play as one of a number of key pillars in Fremantle’s forward line, alongside new signings Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb.
The addition of Hogan and Lobb has brought an increased competition for spots among Fremantle’s tall forwards, which also includes the likes of Brennan Cox, Cam McCarthy and Hugh Dixon.
But Taberner feels the new additions create opportunities to play in other areas of the ground.
“I have a really positive outlook on our new forward line depth,” Taberner said.
“It allows me to get up the ground a bit more and as we’re all very versatile, we can switch between positions.
“Rory has that string where he can go into the ruck and Jesse likes to get up the ground. He’s got a huge engine, so he has that capacity to go up the field so there’s flexibility for me to play deep forward, too.”
Taberner said Fremantle have been able to test out their new forward structure following Hogan’s recent return to full training.
“I think the signs so far at training has been positive,” Taberner said.
“It takes a bit of time to adjust to it all but we’re working well together.
“I have been (playing high up the ground) at training at the moment but I also have that ability to play a bit deeper.”
Taberner said he’s excited by the traits Hogan and Lobb bring to the team.
“Jesse’s really intense out there and I’ve noticed a lot of movement from him. His workrate is phenomenal” Taberner said.
“Rory has some great leadership up forward and he’s 206cm and moves very well. He’ll be a dangerous proposition for defenders.”