It’s been a big week at St Kilda, with off-field dramas involving goalsneak Stephen Milne leading to him being stood down from playing duties tomorrow night. It was a good call from the club, not only for the welfare of Milne but also the team.
That decision in itself has opened the door for Justin Koschitzke once again, who after being sidelined from suspension for his high shot on Collingwood’s Jamie Elliot, has once again been gifted a lifeline.
‘Kosi’ as he is affectionately known (or sometimes not so affectionately) has been a player of immense talent, who has just never seemed able to string it together.
Recruited at pick two in the 2000 draft there was always going to be high expectations, he started off well winning the NAB rising star for 2001, playing 20 games.
Having a tough time with hamstring and quad injuries hampered his career to date and no one could forget that sickening concussion he suffered against the Bulldogs, when Giansiracusa laid a massive hit on him.
Some thought he would never be the same, in 2009 he strung his best season together to date in a year where St Kilda dominated and only just fell short of premiership glory and finished 11th in the Brownlow that year.
Since then however he has been frustrating to watch, constantly fumbling the football, missing easy shots for goal and getting suspended for stupid and reckless behaviour.
He needs to step up in his return game and serve it up to the hapless Demons. It has been talked about in the media as a ‘winnable game’ for the Demons and with an interim coach in the job expect them to come out firing.
St Kilda too has only just recruited a young forward in Tom Lee who would be breathing down Kosi’s neck for an opportunity to play again.
To add to that St Kilda has also been persisting with Arryn Siposs down forward, so there really isn’t much room to underperform.
If Kozzie can repay the faith that St.Kilda have put into him for so long, the Saints will go a long way to winning this one, there is no ifs or buts about it though.
If Kozzie wants to play his 200th game in a couple of weeks, he has to perform.