Star West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has declared his best football is to come ahead of his 100th game against Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.
Naitanui has been both celebrated and much-maligned in his first 99 games at AFL level after being taken with the No.2 pick in the 2008 draft.
The 24-year-old said he was feeling good and felt as though he had been building after a slow start to the year.
“I’m getting to a lot more contests,” Naitanui said.
“I’m going for my grabs again as well.
“That confidence is building with more game time and more fitness.
“Definitely, 100 per cent I feel my best footy is ahead of me.
“I am building and improving every week I still feel my best footy is ahead of me.”
And Naitanui said he won’t be worrying about how harshly he is assessed over the next 100 games.
“I guess with consistency and age that will probably take a bit of that away,” he said.
“My first 100 games I’ve enjoyed and there’s always going to be those ups and downs.
“If I do get to another 100 games I’ll just be more happy to make it there rather than worry about what’s holding me back.”
Naitanui said they would be desperate for a win against the Suns on Saturday.
“We see them as a big threat,” he said.
“They have beaten a few top sides as well, so we find ourselves in the same boat as them, I guess we’re both pretty hungry for a win.”
The Eagles players hit the track for recovery in the wake of their disappointing 44-point loss to Hawthorn in Launceston last Saturday.
Josh Hill, who played for East Perth on Saturday, was absent, while zippy defender Jamie Bennell jogged a few laps going down the race early.
Spearhead Josh Kennedy appeared just as his teammates were leaving the field and kicked the football for a few minutes as he recovers from a cheekbone fracture suffered in the loss to North Melbourne.