Jake Kolodjashnij making up ground on twin brother
TWINS Jake and Kade Kolodjashnij have been trying to get the better of one another since they were young fellas in Tasmania.
Having grown up in Launceston, Jake tells ARM: "We played a lot of sports. We had the park around the corner. It did get pretty competitive.
"I remember back in the day we'd be at the park with dad and one of us would spit the dummy and come home early."
Tonight they will take that rivalry into the AFL for the first time when they go head-to-head as Jake's Geelong hosts Kade's Gold Coast at Simonds Stadium.
Whether they actually cross paths remains to be seen, with the twins to line up at opposite ends of the ground as defenders, but no doubt the loyalty of parents Paul and Sharon will be split.
The twins were drafted in 2013, Kade at No.4 and Jake at No.41. While Kade made an instant impact with the Suns, playing 40 games in his first two seasons, Jake will play his 15th game with the Cats since debuting last year.
"He had a really good (national U18) championships and he was touted to go early in the draft," Jake said of Kade. "I just wanted to chip away and work on my game and hopefully get picked up as well. Luckily we both landed at good clubs."
With Geelong having such a settled defence, Jake has had to bide his time in the VFL, but has relished the chance to be educated by premiership players such as Harry Taylor, Corey Enright, Andrew Mackie and Matthew Scarlett, now backs coach.
"Going into my first year, I knew it was going to be a pretty hard challenge to try and break into the side," he said. "It's just been a learning process so far. I did my time in the VFL, learn as much as I could, and try to earn the respect of those players."
And respect he earned when he given the task of blanketing Sydney great Adam Goodes by coach Chris Scott in just his fifth senior game last year.
"I think that's when the boys really had their trust in me," he said.
"I think that was really the time in my career like I felt I belonged back there."
And while Kade has so far had the better start to their AFL careers, Jake still has him covered for height - by 3cm, 193cm-190cm
"When we were younger there was definitely a big difference," Jake said.
"I was probably a full head taller for most of the years growing up.
"He had a bit of a growth spurt … but I've still got him, which is good."