DRAFT ANALYSIS: “Versatile and competitive key position player able to nullify key position forwards but can also go forward as a marking option”
Jacob Koschitzke hasn’t relied on his famous name to catch the eye this year, the cousin of former St Kilda star Justin Koschitzke. Jacob has made a name for himself at the opposite end of the ground to his cousin being a solid contributor down back for his TAC Cup team Murray Bushrangers and for the Allies in the National Under 18 Championships. The 195cm tall was named full-back in the AFL Under-18 All Australian Team representing the Allies which was a deserved selection given the players he managed to nullify. Koschitzke is one of the better performers for the year down back both in the TAC and in the championships and he was sorely missed late in the year for Murray due to injury and with his impressive marking ability and versatility he has shown to be a very important player in both TAC and in the championships.
- Football IQ
Koschitzke is a marking machine, his intercept work is amongst the best in this draft crop as well as his contested marking where he uses his body well and always takes clean marks. His marking ability is aided by his football IQ and ability to read the play and when he commits to intercepting he will more times than not take the mark or at least kill the contest. Once he has possession of the ball he is always looking to move the ball on quickly often preferring to use kicking instead of handballing, he is comfortable in his kicking skills and he can get some nice penetration. He has the composure with ball in hand, and while he does not win a heap of it, he very rarely looks flustered.
Koschitzke is a competitor who doesn’t like losing and is always willing to use his body to his advantage to try and win front position or crunch packs. Koschitzke isn’t afraid to go back with the flight for his marks and he competes hard for the ground balls as well. Koschitzke played an incredible stopping role in the Under 18 championships on top five prospect Ben King with King kicking his only goal in the dying minutes of the game, Koschitzke had his measure using his body to get a fist in on many occasions. He is really strong in one-on-ones and can match it with the more athletic types despite not being super athletic himself.
Koschitzke has been a solid player down back but he also has the ability to go forward and be a great target with his contested marking and work rate, he showed his versatility last year as well so it’s not something he has adjusted to just for this year. Koschitzke looks better as a defender but that versatility is something clubs would love, he looks comfortable at either end and makes them both look like natural positions for him.
- Scoreboard impact when forward
Koschitzke does not have many weaknesses as a stronger key position player but he may not have the mobility and speed to play on the smaller players as he looks best suited to playing on the big dominant forward or resting ruckman, this certainly is not a huge issue but the lack of mobility may have clubs pass on him that already have enough of those types. His athleticism is by no means poor or even below average, it is just considered average, and therefore is an improvement he can build upon at AFL level. He is not a big ball winner he usually just stick to his task and picks his moments to rebound and intercept which shows in his disposal average with his highest disposal count at 16. A lot of modern key defenders have the ability to also win the ball so this will be an area Koschitzke could work on.
Koschitzke despite looking comfortable as a forward does not hit the scoreboard often, only kicking multiple goals on one occasion this year. His work rate is there, but production as a forward has not warranted him spending more time there with his impact down back much greater. As a forward he would mostly look to be used to be a marking option or use his competitiveness to at least bring the ball to ground and compete.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 30+
Koschitzke is among the best key position prospects in this draft especially as a defender and with the lack of depth for those types in this draft it should see Koschitzke be one of the first Murray Bushrangers prospects taken on draft night. Koschitzke has proven enough despite his late injury that he will be a player you can rely on to do a job down back and get the best out of himself and with his added versatility and good size you could not see him lasting long past the third round of the draft. With Koschitzke you have a readymade key position player that still has things to improve that make him a talent worth investing in.
Under 18s Championships