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‘Richo’ acclaims Astbury

Astbury 100 The Tigers share what it's like to play with David Astbury ahead of his 100th game.

Richmond great Matthew Richardson has paid tribute to David Astbury in the lead-up to the dependable key defender reaching the 100-game milestone for the Tigers against Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.

Richardson handed the No. 12 guernsey to Astbury after the then teenager’s 2010 debut season of AFL football with Richmond.

Since then, he’s taken a keen interest in the progress of the Tigers’ third selection in the 2009 National Draft.

It’s been a slow burn for Astbury because of a wretched run with injuries that restricted him to just 24 senior games in the five seasons from 2011-15.

Throughout the past couple of years, however, Astbury has had a long overdue change of fortune on the injury front and he’s blossomed in Richmond’s backline, much to Richardson’s delight.

“For Dave, it was all about just getting his body right and continuity into his game,” ‘Richo’ said on this week’s edition of the Club’s official podcast, ‘Talking Tigers’.

“He is not far off being All-Australia quality key defender now . . . he has to be in the conversations when you talk about that.

‘With his resilience, and great attitude, he’s just a terrific person and character to have around your footy club . . .

“He’s a level-head, he’s mature, and he’s turned into a great leader, I believe, around the footy club . . .

“Out on the ground, you just want a key defender to be reliable. You want to be able to count on them every week. And that’s what you can do now with Dave . . .

“He’s just going to lock away the opposition’s probably biggest body (forward) from week to week, which allows (Alex) Rance to play better and (Nick) Vlastuin and (Dylan) Grimes to flourish around him.

“With his intercept marking, a lot of defenders over the history of the game have been very good at defending.  Dave’s very good at that – strong in the body – but he’s a great intercept mark.

“He backs himself in, takes his marks, and then rarely turns it over when he wins it back.”

Astbury is averaging 15.6 disposals, 6.2 marks and 3.2 rebound-50s per game in season 2018 and is ranked 19th in the competition for intercepts.