Kolodjashnij aims to make mark for Cats


FOR Jake Kolodjashnij, season 2014 has been like being in one big football-themed classroom.

The 18-year-old Geelong key defender has not hit the same heights as his twin brother, Rising Star favourite Kade, spending the year in the VFL.

But while he has been ``learning'', Jake has been able to put together some strong performances which have put the former Launceston footballer on the cusp of a senior debut with the finals-bound Cats.

``I've just been getting my head around all our structures, our game plan and the general way we want to go about it,'' Kolodjashnij told  The Examiner.

Jake Kolodjashnij is poised for a seniors debut for Geelong.

Jake Kolodjashnij is poised for a seniors debut for Geelong.

``The VFL is a big step up from under-18 footy and it does take you a bit of time to be able to start executing it on field, which I feel I am now.

``It's quicker (than the State League) and a lot more strict with structures, but it is pretty similar with the number of mature bodies to encounter.

``But that will go up in the AFL, and I think I'm ready for that if I get a call-up.''

The 41st selection in last year's national draft, Kolodjashnij said he had added about 7 kilograms to weigh in at 94kg since arriving at the club.

The 193-centimetre defender admits working with the likes of Jared Rivers and Harry Taylor at training has helped improve his game, despite the ironic fact that their presence in the team is keeping him out.

``I think I've played some good games in the VFL, but also had some average ones as well. I'll need to work on a few things to put my hand up for selection, like using my voice better towards my teammates, because when you go up to the level, you do need to rely on your teammates more.

``And for me, I need to work on things offensively as well, and just know when to attack, as well as work on my running patterns.''

Tasmanian Geelong teammate Jackson Thurlow believed Kolodjashnij had made an ``awesome'' start to his life on an AFL list, saying his shut-down roles had been ``super-impressive''.

Kolodjashnij says his philosophy about getting his debut this year, not an easy task considering the strength of the Geelong backline, is to be patient and not worry too much.

``I'm just going to keep on putting my best foot forward and will see what happens,'' he said.

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