Jaeger O'Meara says he hasn't felt the pressure of taking over from reigning Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell as the Hawks' no.1 midfielder.
The former Gold Coast Sun has been asked to shoulder a huge midfield load after Liam Shiels and Shaun Burgoyne suffered hamstring injuries in the Hawks' round 2 loss, and has performed admirably to average 28 touches and goal from four games.
A Carlton midfield boasting Patrick Cripps and Marc Murphy awaits when UTAS Stadium hosts its first home and away game of 2019 on Sunday, but O'Meara is confident he and young teammates James Worpel and James Cousins are up to the challenge.
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"I haven't felt any added pressure," he said.
"Tom's an exceptional player and also one of my good mates so I'd love to have him out there, but it's exciting to see the young guys roll through the midfield and play some footy with them.
"Also from a leadership capacity it's made me grow a fair bit in terms of trying to develop them and help them where I can, so it's been exciting."
The Blues come to Launceston on a high after a rollicking win over Western Bulldogs, which saw Cripps and Sam Petrevski-Seton amass more than 70 touches between them.
The Carlton midfield has also been bolstered by the off-season arrival of no.1 pick Sam Walsh, who is averaging an astonishing 26 disposals in his first year of senior football.
O'Meara, who was also an instant success in his debut season in 2013, praised the 18-year-old's composure in the face of high expectation.
"He's been impressive," O'Meara said.
"We got the chance to play Carlton in a scratch match before the season and he played in that.
"We played at their home ground and I remember every time he got the ball the Blues fans were going bananas.
"He's obviously a level-headed kid because he's had the pressure of being a no.1 draft pick and come into the league with a fair bit of expectation but he's handled that really well.
"He's playing some good footy so it's nice to see a guy do that, but hopefully we can stop him from having a good game on the weekend."
Having signed a new four-year contract earlier this month, O'Meara will be seeing plenty more of Launceston in the coming years should the Hawks' Tasmania deal be extended beyond 2021.
The 25-year-old polled in two of the Hawks' four UTAS Stadium games last year and will be fancied to do so again this season.
"I hadn't been to Launceston prior to playing at the Hawks but I've got some family who have started to make a bit of a trip out of it.
"They started it last year and came to Launny for a match and stayed a week after that - it's a nice place."
- What: AFL round 6, Hawthorn v Carlton
- When: Sunday, 3.20pm
- Where: UTAS Stadium
- Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au