ANY OPPOSITION full-forward preparing to play Carlton also needs to prepare for one of the fastest developing defenders in the AFL.
That soon-to-be elite stopper is 22-year-old Jacob Weitering who is quickly adding names to his list of defeated forwards in 2020.
The emerging Blues star kept Richmond premiership forward Tom Lynch and Melbourne's Tom McDonald goalless in the season's first two games.
In the club's round three win over Geelong he kept Tom Hawkins to two goals, including no kicks in the first half.
The key defender ranks elite in the competition for rebound 50s and above average for intercept possessions but his work in one-on-one contests is what will make him stand above the rest.
He has had 23 defensive one-on-ones in the first three rounds of the year - comfortably the most in the competition - only losing four of them.
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The AFL world is starting to take notice of the player Weitering can be over the next 10 years and it wouldn't be a surprise when his career concludes if he is mentioned alongside modern-day greats Alex Rance and Matthew Scarlett.
Tim Watson is one of many starting to notice Weitering's work.
"He had a really good season last year. He's one of those guys who has blanket coverage of his direct opponent," he said on SEN on Monday.
"They can just pencil him in now and he can take away the best big forward from the opposition.
"As he gets more and more confidence in his ability and understanding what he can do, he's just becoming a little bit more adventurous in the other aspects of the game.
"Being more creative and participating more in the offensive side of it. I think that will be part of what he does over time as well."
Weitering's form suggests he is well on his way to his first, of possibly many, All-Australian blazer.
He is the only defender in the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year award top-10 with 13 votes to his name.
The Blue is one of only two players with over 20 spoils and intercept possessions, has conceded two goals in his last four games (including round 23, 2019).
He ranks elite in 2020 for one percenters, rebound 50s and score launches while ranking above average for intercepts and metres gained.
The young defender said his recent form had come on the back of consistent performances over the past 12 months.
"I like to think I'm building on the back of a consistent year last year. There were a few changes we made personally and mentally," he said on Tuesday.
"I'm just feeling really confident physically and mentally as a player. I definitely won't take all of the credit, with the back line we've got at the moment.
"It comes with the team performing as well: if there's pressure up the field, there are forced high balls and I'm in the contest, which is where I feel comfortable."
The former number one draft pick said physical maturity, as well as his relationship with key defensive partner Liam Jones, had also been key in his recent form.
"Physically, it probably takes a bit of time as a key position player to develop," he said.
"I'm going to be playing against guys that are bigger than me... physically I've got to feel like I can perform against them. That comes with training.
"I really like the mentality at the moment where we're being ruthless, we want to go and take on the best.
"It's definitely a mentality that 'Jonesy' and I both take on - you really can't do it without each other."
Weitering is not backing down from the challenging the best week in, week out.
"I take pride in taking on the best forwards and that's what I'm going to be doing for the next few years," he said.
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