WHILE 2022 will form part of the story of this Carlton playing group, Jacob Weitering is all systems go when it comes to his focus on season 2023.
Last year, there was a sense of the unknown when it came to the Blues. With a new coaching panel, CEO, President and playing group, football pundits around the country were waiting with bated breath.
Now, leading into 2023, there’s no denying that it has transformed to something much different — expectation.
Given the way it finished, Weitering isn’t surprised by what commentary has been formulated. But when he looks back on things, he views it as a positive overall.
“There were some pretty hard lessons learned… we took some real positives out of 2022, as well as learning opportunities,” Weitering said on SEN’s Whateley.
“For us, everything was new to an extent. We were able to build an identity.
“This pre-season has been about continuing that, refining it and building that chemistry and those relationships that will help us get to that next stage.”
An approach which has served Weitering so well in the past has been approaching games in month blocks: always mindful of what’s to come, but never looking too far ahead.
He’s taking a similar method into the 2023 season — which, of course, means a much-anticipated clash with Richmond’s two key pillars in attack.
Games are just around the corner 👀— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) February 9, 2023
Where does Patrick Cripps feel the group is at leading into the final phase of pre-season?
He knows what’s coming, but that doesn’t make the task any easier.
“For me, it’s game by game and trying to help the team in defence as much as I can… I don’t like to goal set too much,” Weitering said.
“It’s a big ask playing on Tom Lynch and Jack Riewoldt, so I usually just focus on that.
“I think that’s the best way to go into this year — don’t change too much.”
When it comes to dress rehearsals, there isn’t much better than coming up against Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay every day in training.
Weitering has spoken before about how training alongside - and against - the last two Coleman Medallists has improved himself as a player.
“It’s always tough training against Harry and Charlie every session — I’m getting some good practice in,” he said.
“You never want to be a pre-season king in November or December. I reckon around now is the time you want to be fit and firing.
“I’m going well… feeling fit and strong.”