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Defence first for Carlton's No.1 draft pick Weitering

Peter Ryan  January 11, 2016 12:21 PM

AFL 2015 Training - Blues on the Gold Coast

Jacob Weitering working hard during Carlton's training camp on the Gold Coast last month

I do feel more comfortable playing down back, so I think we'll just start from there

HE CAN play at either end of the ground but Carlton's No.1 draft pick Jacob Weitering will begin his football education as a defender.

The highly rated tall has been working alongside the Blues' senior defenders Michael Jamison, Sam Rowe and Simon White before Christmas as he makes his way through his first pre-season on an AFL list.

He admits defence is where he is more comfortable on a football field but he hopes he will be able to play wherever the team needs him.

"I'd love to develop my football at both ends of the ground," Weitering said on Monday. 

"I do feel more comfortable playing down back, so I think we'll just start from there."

Speaking at the AFL Players' Association induction camp for first-year players, Weitering said he had loved his first seven weeks at the Blues.

He said there had been little respite, with the group using every minute of the day to improve under new coach Brendon Bolton.  

"It's a real fresh feeling," Weitering said.

The Blues finished last in 2015 with just four wins and added 15 players to the list in the off-season.

Weitering's addition means the Blues now have four No.1 draft picks on their list - Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs and Marc Murphy.

The newest Blue said while those teammates had significant wisdom to pass on about the experience of being the No.1 pick, the position at which he was drafted was irrelevant to him.

"I don't focus on where I was picked. I don't think any of the draftees do at Carlton and we just worry about being on a clean slate," Weitering said.

"We're on an even playing field here and we're just going to worry about our right to compete and go from there."

Weitering said he was keen to make his AFL debut in round one against Richmond but his mind was focused on more immediate concerns.

"For me it is just about keeping on the track. Keeping the body fit and the mind on the task," Weitering said.

Since 2000, seven No.1 draft picks debuted in the first game of the season but they were midfielders selected during that period.

Taller players Paddy McCartin, Tom Boyd, Jonathan Patton, Jack Watts, Matt Kreuzer, Brendon Goddard, Nick Riewoldt and Luke Hodge all made their debut after the first game of the season in their first year.

One hundred and ten first-year players will attend the AFLPA's annual induction camp, which runs for two days and guides draftees through issues like career development, illicit drugs, match fixing and anti-doping. - with AAP