In just his third season, Jack Lukosius has become one of the SUNS’ most consistent performers.
The former number two draft pick will notch his 50th AFL game this weekend against Fremantle, incredibly missing just a single game since making his debut in Round 1, 2019.
Speaking to SUNS Media, Lukosius reflected on his journey to 50 games and the consistency he has been able to breed in his football.
“I think first of all I've been lucky not to get injured,” Lukosius said.
“A few of the other boys I've been through with like Ranks (Izak Rankine) have been through some adversity in their first couple of years but I've had a good run with injuries so I'm very grateful for that.
“But yeah, I think it's helped me with development definitely.
“Now we're hopefully seeing some success and I really want to be a big part of that heading into the future.”
Originally drafted and deployed as a ranging forward, Lukosius has played all over the ground in his 49 games to date, but has found his true calling in the defensive half.
He’s spent stints higher up the ground on the wing at times this year, but has returned to the defensive 50 in recent weeks.
“I've spent the last fortnight down back and I'm feeling really comfortable there and I think I'll, in the short future anyway, be spending some time there which is good,” Lukosius said.
“I think that really complements the way I can play and the way I can be damaging for the team.”
One of the ways Lukosius can be damaging is by taking territory with his pinpoint field kicking.
The 20-year-old can execute kicks others can only dream about, using a level of precision usually reserved for surgical procedures.
“It's not something I think about, I definitely try to be damaging and go forward when I get my hands on the ball,” he explained.
“But yeah the coaches give me a license to back myself in and I think that tends to mean going forward and taking ground.”
Lukosius said his focus had been on employing a defence-first mentality and competing hard one-on-one.
“I think the harder you defend the more opportunities you get in the game,” he said.
“Now that I've played 50 games, with the same group, I think I've built some connections with the other players and players have got the belief in me to execute.
“At the moment I'm just trying to have as much impact for the side as I can.
“I feel like, the better I play, the better the team's going to go so that's my plan heading into the future.”
The SUNS take on Fremantle at 4:15pm AEST at Optus Stadium on Saturday.