Can Taberner take next step in AFL career?

Matt Taberner4Fremantle veteran David Mundy is hopeful that a strong WAFL season and finals campaign will give project forward Matt Taberner the impetus to take the next step in his AFL career and become a productive forward.
Taberner was one of Fremantle’s best in a 10-point loss to Adelaide in Strathalbyn yesterday, adding three goals to 16 disposals and seven marks.
It comes after a year when he went backwards to go forwards. After playing 17 games for 18 goals in 2016, Taberner spent considerable time in the WAFL at Peel last year. He played just eight AFL games for 11 goals, but kicked 41 in 16 games at Peel, including eight in three finals.
In the second semi final win over Subiaco he took 16 marks.
Speaking before he helped Coastcare workers with a dune stabilisation project at Leighton Beach this morning, Mundy said Taberner’s progress was important o Fremantle plans to move the ball quickly.
“We would like to move forward and progress up the field but we understand that turnovers last year, particularly in our back half were really crippling. We would like to move the ball forward and Matthew Taberner yesterday provided a really good target for us,” he said.
“What is that next step? It is a bit of a throwaway line. Matthew last year finished really well in his finals series at Peel. He is a really dedicated hard worker off the field and he is a really big strong man. The signs are really positive for Matthew. He certainly works hard at his craft. He has got a little way to go but there are not many 200cm big, hulking men going around.”
Mundy said effective ball movement would also be a key to determining the effectiveness of he and Nathan Fyfe spending time forward as well as in the midfield.
“It is a role that I played last year a fair bit. It is easier to play in a team moving the ball really well and playing really well and certainly has its challenges when we are not. But I have certainly been playing a lot in the pre-season in that role. Getting that mix between forward and mid is something that we are continually working on. It is something we are really excited about.”
“We saw that last year with Richmond, Cotchin and Martin spending time forward and they are really damaging players in their own right. It helps in our structure and with people that we have at our disposal that myself and Nathan especially can move forward and provide a bit of an aerial target,” he said.
“Certainly it is part of our role down there. It is not just Nathan and myself, Michael Walters spends a bit of time down there, Hayden Ballantyne is a really experienced head and Matty Taberner has come a long way understanding his role as a tall.”