The Unsung – Round 6: Jacob Koschitzke and Darcy Cameron

Anzac Day weekend provided some tough and strong games with some good teams going up against each other, with a high standard of football played. Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are leading the way playing strong, starting with an impressive 6-0 record. Two young players had strong games in the round,  Jacob Koschitzke and Darcy Cameron.

 

Jacob Koschitzke (Hawthorn)

 

In the second column of The Unsung, I briefly mentioned that Jacob Koschitzke showed signs of being a good forward against Richmond’s solid defence in Round 2. In Hawthorn’s game against Adelaide in Tasmania, he played the best game of his career to date. Koschitzke, who was selected with the 52nd pick in the 2018 draft playing with Albury High school and Murray Bushrangers throughout his juniors, was either used as a key forward or as an intercepting backman. Since being selected by Hawthorn and playing for Box Hill, Koschitzke has played in the forward line, demonstrating his strong marking skills and ability to read the contest. He is also the cousin of former St Kilda forward Justin Koschitzke and has built up a reputation for solid play through his junior career and post being drafted.

 

Koschitzke had a fantastic game against Adelaide, kicking five goals and taking nine marks, with six of them being contested. Koschitzke dominated and attacked each contest with confidence, and at 196cm with good athletic ability, he will continue to be a nightmare match-up as he develops into his body. Whilst it may take key position players like Koschitzke time to develop into the role, he will get that necessary improvement with consistent game time at the AFL level. Time will improve his technique in front of goal as he kicked three behinds. Being so young into his career, he has opportunity to work on his routine and technique to improve his goal kicking. Koschitzke showed ability within the contest to bring the ball to the ground and provide an opportunity for the small forwards to attack, showing good overall football instinct. He played a role in the start of Hawthorn’s comeback from 32 points down and to eventually get the close win by three points. Koschitzke has had an up and down season which occurs as a younger player, but this Adelaide game can be the start of some solid, consistent play. With Hawthorn going into a rebuild, getting big comeback wins can be the start of building a foundation for the future; Koschitzke’s play gave something to be optimistic for Hawthorn.

 

Darcy Cameron (Collingwood)

 

Collingwood has limited key forwards at their disposal, with injuries and form concerns. Collingwood has tried moving Darcy Moore forward to see if they can get some better structure. This led to Darcy Cameron getting a significant opportunity to prove himself an option down forward in a big stage game against Essendon. Although Collingwood did not get the result they would have wanted, Cameron was one of the better players on the day for Collingwood. Cameron, who initially was drafted by Sydney with the 48th pick in the 2016 draft, had terrible luck in Sydney with injuries, only getting one game since being drafted. Eventually, Cameron got traded to Collingwood at the end of the 2019 season. Cameron, who was drafted as a forward coming from Claremont in the WAFL was forced to learn the ruck position when being out on the sidelines at Sydney. Cameron got his big break in 2020, playing ten games for Collingwood, demonstrating flashes of solid play, especially in the Elimination Final against West Coast Eagles, where he could play the role of pulling a defender out of the forward 50 to create 1v1 opportunities for the other forwards.

 

Cameron was everywhere for Collingwood against Essendon, where he gathered 21 disposals and taking ten marks. When Cameron was down forward, he showed to be a solid, consistent option kicking three goals while pushing up the ground to the wing and defensive side of the ground to present as an option for the long kick down the wing. At 205cm, Cameron is a big man who can cover the ground well for his size and be a threat if it is down forward to take a big mark. He can also play the backup ruckman position, which will help spread the workload with Brodie Grundy to take some pressure off him. Cameron shows great ability to put pressure off the ball and work to create a contest, but for being such a big man, the limitations are there with speed and chasing but does what he can. Cameron works extremely hard, and with more time getting games and getting a clean bit of health, he can develop into a solid forward taking big marks and kicking goals. With some issues off and on the field, Collingwood’s been forced to play younger players and examine their strengths to see what they have. Collingwood so far have won one game and a complete rebuild looking more and more likely each passing week; players like Cameron are essential to get game experience to see if they can find some good players for the long term.

 

Special mentions go to Jay Rantall for making his debut for Collingwood in a big game against Essendon; although he did not get the result and game he would have hoped for, playing in a midfield role, he got some big-game experience. Shoutout to Martin Frederick, who was making his debut for Port Adelaide against St Kilda. He is from Port Adelaide’s Next Generation Academy. Frederick played a strong game across the backline and the wing with his great speed and attack on the ball, helping Port Adelaide with fastball movement to get St Kilda out of position and create easy options for the forwards.

 

Round 6 provided some major talking points and to reconsidering opinions about some teams. We saw injuries across games to established players that will give some young talent playing opportunities. With Cameron and Koschitzke playing prominent parts in big games for their teams, if round seven can match the intensity and level of football played in round six, we are in for some good games.

 

 

 

To read more of The Unsung by Chris Mangos click HERE

 

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE

 

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Comments

  1. Kozchitzke looks like a real good one.

    I’m awaiting a review of a North young gun…

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