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Astbury makes his mark

Dave Astbury flies for a mark against Jon Patton and Rory Lobb last Saturday night

David Astbury has built on the solid gains he made at the game’s highest level last year and become a quality, dependable key defender within the Richmond line-up this season.

He managed to put together an AFL career-high 19 games in 2016, avoiding significant injury for the first time since 2010, when he made his senior debut with the Tigers.

Get along to Saturday night’s traditional Dreamtime at the ‘G clash as we look to rebound against Essendon

The confidence he gained from that continuity with his football seems to have been the catalyst for him taking a significant step forward in season 2017.

Astbury produced another first-rate defensive performance for the Tigers in last Saturday’s loss to Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium.

He picked up 14 disposals and took 10 marks, including an equal game-high four intercept grabs.

The 26-year-old is averaging 14.4 disposals and 6.2 marks this season and is ranked 20th in the competition for total marks.

Astbury’s ability to repel opposition attacking thrusts through strong intercept marking has been a feature of his game.