By ZAC MILBANK
Justin Hoskin knew everything needed to fall into place to reach his 200th Hostplus SANFL League game in 2023.
Featuring in 18 of Central District’s 19 matches this season, the wily veteran not only had to steer clear of soft tissue injuries but also the SANFL’s Match Review Panel to be a chance to notch his milestone.
And even then, the former Port Adelaide Magpie knew the Bulldogs had to keep winning throughout the past three weeks to ensure he would creep across the line in Sunday’s First Semi-Final against Sturt at Adelaide Oval.
”The closer you get, the more you want to just get there,” said Hoskin, who made his SANFL League debut for Port in Round 8 of 2011.
”But then you start to run out of games this season and need the finals. I’m glad I have got it this year so it’s perfect.
”Injuries have really hit me, the soft tissues normally get hold of me but for once this year it has been nice I’ve played so many games.
”We’ve got belief in what we are doing and what Thommo (coach Paul Thomas) has set up. So it’s just a matter of executing it on game day. I’m glad it has all fallen into place, now we just have to keep on winning.”
Set to turn 32 this Thursday, Hoskin is unsure whether he will continue on in 2024 so for now, will relish every opportunity he’s got to play alongside long-term teammates Jarrod Schiller and Kyle Presbury.
Both were with him in the Dogs’ most recent finals series in 2017 and now Hoskin will forever share the spoils of being a SANFL 200 Club member with skipper Schiller.
”It will be great to share it with him,” Hoskin, who has been with the Bulldogs since 2014, said.
”It will be great to head along to the 200 Club dinners later in life together as we are great mates and spend a lot of time together as it is. It has been special to be playing alongside Jarrod for so long.”
Owning and managing his own carpentry business, Hoskin knows all about the huge commitment required to play SANFL League football, particularly for those with physical jobs amongst the elements.
”It’s massive, to work five days a week for eight hours and then train three to four nights a week plus a game – it’s a massive commitment but I’ve loved doing it,” said Hoskin, originally recruited from the Golden Grove Football Club.
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