Jarrad Waite knows the emotive AFL debate this week about booing will be lost on Carlton fans.
A week after Essendon fans gave Port Adelaide’s Paddy Ryder plenty, the North Melbourne forward will also be enemy No.1 when he plays against his old club for the first time.
Indeed, Kangaroos coach Brad Scott hopes Blues fans don’t hold back when the two sides clash on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, saying it will probably fire up Waite.
“I was pretty sure I was going to get it, no matter what,” Waite said of Scott’s cheeky comment.
“I will take what I get – a few fans weren’t happy that I left last year.
“It comes with the territory, I suppose.
“Unfortunately … I’ve brought it on myself, so I’m just going to have to bear it.”
Waite also said his situation was far removed from Sydney star Adam Goodes, who is having time out from the AFL as he deals with continuous booing from opposition fans.
“Obviously his has been going on for a long time … mine will probably only be a week,” Waite said.
Waite, who has struggled at times with on-field discipline, also expects some needle from his old teammates.
“It’s pretty obvious what they’re going to try to do, but I will probably just laugh and focus on trying do what I have to do for the team to get the win,” he said.
Saturday night will be Waite’s 200th game and the milestone comes at a big moment in his career.
Scott said Waite has been a player transformed in the last three weeks with his greater defensive pressure.
Waite said off-field training had helped cure persistent back problems.
“I really feel like my fitness is right up at the moment and that’s correlated during the games – just that consistency of training … is paying off,” Waite said.
“I still feel like I have the best footy to come, in (how) I potentially feel like I can play.”
A week ago, Carlton suffered the biggest loss in club history when Hawthorn walloped them by 138 points.
Despite North’s clear favouritism, Waite said that humiliation would make Carlton dangerous.
“I know they’re going to be fired up,” he said of his old team.
“I’ve been in situations where we’ve lost by large margins and it just gets that anger inside you – it just burns.
“It’s probably the worst-possible result for us.”