Paul Duffield, who is set to play his 100th AFL game this Saturday, credits a full pre-season and a settled role for his solid form in 2012.

The 27-year-old said reaching the 100-game milestone was an achievement he was very pleased with.

“When you’re growing up, to play one game of football is a dream come true,” he said.

“So to come off the rookie list and take two or three years to work my way into playing some games of AFL football, and get my name on the locker, is something I’m really, really proud of.

“I’ll look back on it when I’m finished and be really proud of that achievement.”

Duffield admitted that a compromised pre-season last year left him doubting his own abilities as the game of AFL picked up a level in 2011.

“I didn’t have such a great pre-season last year, and in my mind I wasn’t able to compete to the level I wanted to,” he said.

“I felt like the game stepped up last year and I noticed that I wasn’t up to that level.

“I felt like I had to buy into a new fresh approach and work really hard over this pre-season to catch up a little bit.”

Duffield has performed well this season at half-back, a role he has always enjoyed playing.

“So far this year I’ve been able to bounce back to some football that I’d like to play,” he said.

“The best thing has been that I’ve been given a bit of clarity about my role and I’ve been more settled in what that role is and the understanding of how to execute it.”

Duffield said the half-back role was one he’d played for the majority of his career, with 2011 being an exception.

“Last year we were stretched with injuries which then forced a player like myself to fill a few gaps here and there,” he said.

“Sometimes that can be taxing on your form, however, sometimes, internally you’re getting rated for the role that you’re doing but you’re not getting the accolades on the outside.

“I’m very comfortable with the role that I’m playing at the moment.”

Duffield will share his 100-game milestone with good friend David Mundy, who lines up for game number 150 against the in-form Adelaide Crows at Patersons Stadium this Saturday.

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