Geelong defender Jake Kolodjashnij says he’s ‘humbled’ to play his 150th game for the Cats this weekend when they take on St. Kilda at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
Kolodjashnij didn’t take up Australian Rules until the age of 13 after growing up playing soccer and basketball, but the lure of the footy oval across the road in the Launceston suburb of Prospect would eventually be too much, and the rest is history.
Looking back on his journey this week, Kolodjashnij said he was grateful to land at Kardinia Park after being taken with the 41st pick of the 2013 National Draft.
“It’s gone super quick, to be honest, I can still remember my first game like it was yesterday," he told media on Tuesday morning.
“It's pretty humbling to be a part of such a great footy club and I"m just grateful that I had the opportunity as an 18-year-old to hone my craft, and learn from some great people.
"It's been a really good journey and it's gone a lot quicker than I imagined it would but it's really humbling to play 150 for such a great club.”
The athletic 193cm defender has been a key part of a Geelong defensive unit that has not only held the line with vice-captain Tom Stewart sidelined through suspension but has excelled, with the Cats now going for their 11th straight win on the weekend.
Kolodjashnij said while the confidence the group has in each other is palpable, there’s still improvement to be found.
“Once we get the game on our terms and we're feeling confident and good about ourselves, we can take it to anyone," he said.
"[But] the challenge for us going forward is doing that for four quarters now and not leaving it too late, and not letting teams jump us at the start.”
However, the week’s work may only just be beginning for the 26-year-old, who has more than a few tickets requests to service.
[I’ve], got a bit of family coming down for the game from Queensland so I've got a few ticket requests to sort out this week, but it should be nice to have some family and friends come down.”