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Finals football fuelling Barlow
Fremantle Dockers midfielder Michael Barlow. Picture: Michael Wilson / The West Australian.

Fremantle's Michael Barlow says he is driven by a desire to play finals football after a broken leg robbed him of the opportunity in his first season.

Barlow's rapid rise after being picked up in the rookie draft was a major factor in Fremantle's sixth-place finish in 2010, but a round 14 collision with then-teammate Rhys Palmer meant he watched from the sidelines as the Dockers won their elimination final against Hawthorn.

"I was disappointed not to play out the year," he told Channel 7's AFL Game Day.

"We played finals football that year and I'm still yet to play a final so that's something on my agenda."

Barlow's impact since returning to the side had been, by his own admission, modest before showing signs over the past three weeks he was ready to return to his barnstorming best.

In Fremantle's loss to Collingwood at the weekend he recorded a career-high 37 disposals and says despite his team's poor form he feels as if he is close to finding his feet.

"I've played 13 games, started a few as the sub and probably didn't have the fitness or the spread in my legs that I would've liked, missing a fair chunk of the pre-season," he said.

"The last few weeks have been fantastic for me personally. (I've been) getting a lot more run in my legs and GPS numbers are getting up.

"I'm really happy with where it's at and hopefully I can push Fremantle into a position where we can play finals football."