Jetta 'a marked man'

Written By Unknown on Senin, 04 Maret 2013 | 12.50

Lewis Jetta in action during the Sydney Swans v Western Bulldogs AFL game at the SCG in Sydney. Picture: Phil Hillyard Source: The Daily Telegraph

SYDNEY speedster Lewis Jetta will have to get used to being a target of opposition taggers this year, warns club legend Michael O'Loughlin.

As is the Sydney way, the Swans didn't build their 2012 premiership platform on any one player.

But Jetta's blazing runs invariably provided much of the highlight-reel fodder - none more astonishing than his 80m burst for a preliminary-final goal against Collingwood.

The 23-year-old was often central to the "slingshot" move in which the Swans moved the ball from half-back with precision and pace.

O'Loughlin believes rivals will spend more time on ways to nullify the influence of Jetta, who topped the Swans' goalkicking tally last year with 45.

"All the teams will be gunning for him in particular, because he's a little bit of a barometer," said O'Loughlin, who played 303 games with the Swans.

"Lewis will have to cope with even more tags this season, and teams are going to really try and take his scalp.

"So he's got his work cut out for him. But he's a pretty resilient kid and it's going to be an amazing test for him, to see how he copes with all that.

"And that's footy. All the good players go through it.

"He's just become a star so he's got a long way to go until he gets to that elite level.

"There'll be some ups and downs for Lewis this year, but he's got that character, the work rate, and that desire to be successful."

Jetta's rise to prominence followed a rigorous pre-season training regime, in which he shadowed Kieren Jack.

O'Loughlin noted more hard yards would be required if Jetta was to continue his rise.

"He's just got to keep improving. The reason he had such a successful year is because his workload went up a couple of notches, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't improve again," he said.

"Your natural talent and your gift takes over ... but it's always been about work rate - and he's certainly got that now."

In promising signs for Sydney, Jetta improved his personal best in the pre-season 3km time-trial by 50 seconds.

He sat out the opening round of the pre-season competition, having taken part in the Indigenous All Stars match, but tallied 21 disposals against St Kilda on Sunday.

The Swans start their premiership defence with a derby match against Greater Western Sydney on March 30.

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