Kade Kolodjashnij couldn’t be happier with the start to his AFL career

kadekolo9It has been a whirlwind ride for crack young Gold Coast Suns rookie Kade Kolodjashnij.

In little more than four months, the 18-year-old has gone on a magical carpet ride that at times must have felt like a fantasy for the Tasmanian product.

At this time last year Kolodjashnij was playing for the Tassie Mariners in the TAC Cup.

Now he is the “veteran” of two AFL games, one of them against 2013 grand finalists Fremantle — and with his third coming up on Saturday against the reigning premiers Hawthorn.

“This time last year there was no chance I would have played two AFL games by now, I would not have dreamt of that,” Kolodjashnij said.

But his ride has taken him from Launceston, to the Gold Coast, across the country to Perth and now back to the Coast to play against the team that he barracked for as a youngster.

And maybe even line up on one of his two Hawks favourites — Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell.

That will be three AFL games, two of them against the 2013 grand finalists. The good thing about the teen with Ukrainian heritage is that he has a level head. And the Suns coaching staff rate him very highly.

He is content with his form so far but he has learnt quickly that he has to be switched on all the time during games.

“I’d probably give myself a pass-plus mark,” Kolodjashnij said.

“I was not expecting too much because it’s AFL footy and a big step up.

“I need to work on a couple of areas in defence, like minding my man a lot more.

“Because it’s AFL you get caught out pretty easy if you’re not switched on all the time. I have to sharpen up on that area and I should be right.”