NIC NAITANUI is confident his best is yet to come and that his next 100 games will be far more consistent than his first.
The 24-year-old will reach the 100-game milestone when West Coast face Gold Coast on Saturday at Patersons Stadium.
Naitanui has endured plenty of criticism across his first 100 games, but he doesn't pay attention to it and believes more confidence and a better understanding of his body will lead to more consistency in the future.
"My first 100 games I've enjoyed and there's always going to be those ups and downs," Naitanui said on Monday.
"I'm still growing and aging, just getting the feel of my body and how it works and what it can handle.
"I feel I'm at that stage now where I'm pretty aware of what's going on and what I can handle week to week.
"I'm quite happy to say my best footy is ahead of me."
The 2012 All Australian ruckman has had his critics throughout his career.
Taken with pick No. 2 in the 2008 NAB AFL draft, he becomes just the seventh player to reach 100 games from that draft.
Stephen Hill, Daniel Rich, Steele Sidebottom, Jack Redden, Dayne Beams, and Dan Hannebery have all reached the mark ahead of him.
Naitanui, Beams, and Hannebery are the only players from that draft to have been named All Australians so far.
The Eagles' big man believes his groin issues have all but disappeared and he is feeling like he is close to getting back to the form of 2012.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Naitanui said.
"I felt I built pretty well over the last couple of weeks. I'm getting to a lot more contests. I'm going for my grabs again as well. That confidence is building with more game time and more fitness.
"I have looked at my GPS data, so that stuff is coming on track pretty well."
Naitanui signed a lucrative five-year contract extension in May to remain at West Coast until the end of 2019. He said the finalisation of that deal has been a big weight of his shoulders.
"For me I was always going to stay home so to let it carry on throughout the year would only be a distraction," Naitanui said.
"More of a distraction and more of a burden I guess.
"I just didn’t want to go through the trials of that that some players have done.
"The quicker we could get it out of the way the better for me."