In the seventh of a post-season special, focusing on 14 key findings from the Tigers’ 2014 season, we take a look at David Astbury’s progress.

No. 7:  David Astbury gained considerable confidence out of the football he did play early on, before his season-ending injury.

This was always going to be a vital year in David Astbury’s development as a league player.

After a promising debut season in 2010, which netted him 17 games, Astbury managed only 12 further senior appearances for Richmond over the course of the next three years, primarily due to a wretched run with injury.

A dislocated kneecap that Astbury suffered midway through the 2011 season, in a clash with Sydney at the SCG, was the main culprit on the injury front for him.

Bid on 2014 Richmond signed match-worn guernseys, including David Astbury’s 

He entered the 2014 season needing to show something substantial, in order to convince the Tigers that he could be pencilled into their future plans.

Unfortunately, serious injury intervened yet again, in the form of another kneecap dislocation, which he sustained in the Round 9 loss to Melbourne.  Before then, however, Astbury had been in the best form of his five-year AFL career.

Playing a key defensive role, he averaged 13.5 disposals and 5.2 marks in his eight games pre-injury, and consistently beat a raft of quality opponents in crucial one-on-one contests.

“I probably questioned myself before the start of this year, whether I could play consistent football at the level.  But I’d like to think I’ve proved that so far,” Astbury told ‘Roar Vision’ after signing a two-year contract extension with the Club last month.

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The Tigers were delighted with what he displayed in the early rounds of the 2014 season, and see him as an integral part of their backline for the future.

Astbury also has had his confidence levels boosted by the one game he played at VFL level at the end of the season, after recovering from his latest injury setback.

“I got three quarters of footy in against Footscray here at Punt Road.  It was awesome just to be back playing footy . . .”

“I was really surprised how good I felt playing out here, and that gives me massive confidence, if nothing else, going into the off-season and pre-season.”