The West

Hard yards give Masten a  kick start
Eagles midfielder Chris Masten experiences pre-season pain. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Eagles midfielder Chris Masten says he is now a much better kick than when he started out his AFL career.

The 24-year-old will bring up his 100-game milestone in Saturday night's match against St Kilda at Patersons Stadium.

And the once-maligned on-baller, who has been one of West Coast's most improved players in the past two seasons, said he had seen progression in his skills by foot, particularly over the past 12 months.

Adam Simpson's influence as coach has meant a greater emphasis on skills across the pre-season, with Masten among those benefiting from the changes.

"There's been a lot of hard yards out on the track with the boys," he said.

"The program's sort of helping that. I think slowly it (my kicking) is starting to turn around, but there's a long way to go."

The 2007 No.3 draft pick averaged a career-high 26 disposals across his 19 games last season.

He said there was still plenty of room to improve despite already kicking three goals in his first two matches this year - a third of the total majors he managed in 2013.

"Personally I've got a couple of kicks, but there's a heap to improve on," Masten said.

"Some areas have been good and others have been poor. There's plenty of room for improvement.

"(I'd like to improve) the defensive side of my game and skills … they're probably the main two for me at the moment."

The West Australian

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