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Prospective No.1 pick Jacob Weitering wins AFL Academy's Ben Mitchell Medal

Jacob Weitering of Vic Country looks upfield during the 2015 AFL Under 18 match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on May 24, 2015. (Photo: Michael Dodge/AFL Media)
Jacob Weitering in action for Vic Country at the NAB AFL U18 Championships

POTENTIAL No.1 pick Jacob Weitering has added an honour to his growing resume, being awarded the Ben Mitchell Medal as the standout player in this year's NAB AFL Academy.

The key defender beat teammate Josh Dunkley by one vote for the medal, which is named after Mitchell, a former Academy member who died when he was 16 in a car accident in 2002. 

At the end of each Academy intake every member of the squad votes for the players who best represent the values important to the program, with Weitering's influence acknowledged this season.

Top prospect Weitering 'a cut above the rest'

The 2014/15 squad gathered together for the final time on Monday at Etihad Stadium in the lead-up to the final round of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships later this week.

South Australian prospect Aaron Francis, who is tipped to be an early selection at this year's NAB AFL Draft, was third in the count.

The Ben Mitchell Medal has had a number of highly-rated winners in recent years, with West Coast draftee Liam Duggan taking out last year's award.

Greater Western Sydney's No.2 pick Josh Kelly and Sydney Swans rookie Lloyd Perris shared the honour in 2013, while Essendon's Joe Daniher was the recipient in 2012.

Weitering will likely be named an under-18 All Australian at the end of this week after an impressive carnival for Vic Country, which has already sealed the division one title heading into its final game on Thursday. 

The 17-year-old, who started the year in terrific form in the Academy's two games against VFL opponents, is one of two leading contenders for the first draft choice, alongside key forward and Vic Country teammate Josh Schache.