Former St Kilda forward Justin Koschitzke has joined the SUNS in a part-time consultancy coaching role.
Koschitzke played 200 games for the Saints between 2001 and 2013, kicking 247 goals.
Since retiring, Koschitzke has moved to northern New South Wales and joins the SUNS with the aim of mentoring the club’s developing key position players.
“It’s obviously a young list with some emerging key forwards and ruckmen so I’m just spending some one-on-one time with them on the training track and outside,” Koschitzke told SUNS Media.
“Whether it’s getting a coffee with them, doing a bit of mentoring or speaking about life.
“I’m doing some marking drills and leading patterns and some of the old stuff that I used to get up to (at training).
“It’s been great, they’re a great bunch of kids, really enthusiastic, respectable and approachable so it’s a great role.”
Koschitzke won the AFL Rising Star award in 2001 and has played in three Grand Finals during his 13-year career.
He played with some greats of the game at the Saints, including Fraser Gehrig, Nick Riewoldt and Lenny Hayes.
Koschitzke says his time away from football since his retirement has allowed him to reflect and draw from the learnings his career has given him.
“Now you get back into a club environment and you find yourself passing on that wisdom that you learnt from the players you played with and the coaches that coached you,” Koschitzke said.
“It’s really enjoyable to share some of that with some emerging talent and see them try to emulate the message you’re passing on.”
Koschitzke will join the SUNS coaching panel for its main sessions at Metricon Stadium.
The 36-year-old said it was important for him to allow the players to build on the foundations they have already built.
“It’s more about the mentality,” he said.
“They’ve obviously got their game plan set in stone, my role is just to be mentoring them and going through what they’ve done right and wrong on the gameday and what they want to work on at training.”
“They’re great players, better players than I ever was and better athletes but it’s just about being a mentor and bouncing some suggestions off them.”