Jarrad Waite is North Melbourne’s second highest goal kicker in 2018 with 13 goals in six AFL games.North Melbourne will regain a key weapon in attack for the much-anticipated AFL clash with Richmond, with Jarrad Waite declaring he is right to go after a rest.
The 35-year-old sat out the Kangaroos’ thrilling two-point win over Sydney at the SCG last week.
Waite admitted to some frustration sitting on his couch alone watching as the surprise packet Roos improved to seventh place with a 4-3 record.
He would have argued against a rest in previous years but has learned the lessons of the past two seasons when he started strongly before succumbing to injury.
“In previous years I’ve probably rested when I’ve been sore, but I think when you’re at that stage it’s too late,” Waite told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good so it was probably perfect timing.
“I’m not sore yet but I am 35, so managing myself is probably key now.
“In previous years I probably would have played sore and then you end up getting injured.
“Hopefully this will hold me in good stead through this next period until the bye.”
Waite has impressed up forward and on a wing, kicking three goals in each of the past four games he played before he was rested.
He’s so pleased with his form that he isn’t ruling out pushing for a 17th AFL season next year.
North host the reigning premiers at Etihad Stadium on Sunday in what promises to be one of the matches of the round.
Mason Wood starred with four goals in his absence but Waite is confident a three-pronged attack, which includes Coleman Medal leader Ben Brown, can work for the Roos.
The top-of-the-table Tigers will carry the momentum of a five-game winning streak into the encounter, but Waite is quietly confident the North have it in them to continue to confound expectations.
“We’ve played some really good footy this year and a lot of teams have underestimated us,” he said.
“Everyone thought we were not going to win a game for the year.
“But we were quietly confident with the way we were going about it at training.
“We know that the outside perception of what we are about this year hasn’t been the most positive but internally we’re really excited with the way that we’re going.”