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'Balance' key for Weitering

Weitering back in the routine Carlton Media spoke to Jacob Weitering as pre-season training continues at Ikon Park.

This time last year, Jacob Weitering was anxiously making his way to Adelaide ahead of the 2015 national draft, with the likelihood of Carlton coach Brendon Bolton reading his name with the No. 1 pick.

Now, on the cusp of his 19th birthday and 20 matches into his AFL career, the young defender reflects on his first 12 months at Carlton, as he looks to further improve his game and undergo his second pre-season at the Blues.

“Obviously I was very lucky to play 20 games in my first year,” Weitering told RSN on Tuesday morning.

“I’m just looking to improve as much as I can over the coming years, focussing on this pre-season and trying to do my best again next year.”

Taking everything in his stride throughout 2016, Weitering attributes his smooth transition – and ability to cope with the pressure that comes with being the No. 1 pick – to his close network of friends and family.

“I think I put it down to the people I have around me, that’s not just the people I have in the inner sanctum of the football club, but family and friends and keeping a balanced lifestyle – obviously the coaches have been a terrific help too,” Weitering said.

“At the Blues we have four No. 1 draft picks, obviously three playing and Josh Fraser as a development coach and VFL coach, so I had a fair bit of knowledge to draw on there.

“It was an easier transition I felt because of the way Carlton were positioned last year and the boys just made it really easy on me, I fitted in really well and playing 20 games really helped.” 

Click here to listen to Weitering's chat with RSN Sport Radio

After taking some time to “relax” in the off-season with his family on the Mornington Peninsula, Weitering and his teammates have made their way back to Ikon Park, in readiness for the Club’s 2017 campaign.

While pre-season at times can be a gruelling experience, Weitering sees it as an opportunity to refresh not only his body, but his mind too.

“I think pre-season is a massive boost for the body and the mind to be ready to compete against the elite,” Weitering said.

Go inside the Weitering household in The Journey Part III

In his first pre-season the 18-year-old worked with the Club’s fitness staff to manage his body, completing approximately 70 percent of the workload ­– this year Weitering is aiming to complete 80 per cent, pushing his body just that little bit further.

“I think just staying on the track and making sure I’m improving every training session, doing the extras and just gaining as much knowledge as I can will help.”

With Carlton acquiring four new players during the trade period, Weitering believes the Club’s recent recruits, including former Cat Billie Smedts, will add flexibilty and depth to the list.

“Billie Smedts from the Cats, he’s a versatile player and brings that age gap together,” he said.

New Blue Billie Smedts hits the track for pre-season. (Photo: AFL Media)

“We’ve got quite a young list and we’ve got a few older players. He’s 24 years old so I think he’ll bring a fair bit to the Club, and obviously the three GWS players as well. 

“I think it (new players) will build more continuity among the group, obviously like I said with a new game plan, new culture and second year into it, I think the boys will really kick on now and hopefully we can improve on last year.” 

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