While coach Nathan Brown has brought in several players of considerable experience this off-season, North Queensland Cowboys recruit Rory Kostjasyn stands out due to the proven and successful systems he has consistently been a part of over the last seven years.
From 2010 to 2012 he plied his trade at the Melbourne Storm and won a premiership, and from 2013 to 2016 he played 94 matches for the Cowboys and won a premiership there too.
It is that experience of winning consistently that coach Brown will want Kostjasyn to inject into this youthful Knights squad.
Following an extended break due to playing a part in the Cowboys’ finals run two months ago, Kostjasyn linked up with the squad on Monday morning.
“I’m still recovering from a couple of surgeries, so it was just running for me,” he said in a press conference following the session.
“After Christmas I’ll be back to full training with the boys.”
The surgeries were minor, with the first being an arthroscopy on an elbow and the second being the somewhat unusual procedure of removing a hernia from his belly button.
Kostjasyn was amongst the frontrunners of the group that was restricted to cardiovascular work, and at 29 years of age is now the third oldest player in the squad behind Mickey Paea and Jarrod Mullen.
“I’ve been in some pretty good footy sides now, and I’m a little bit older so the opportunity to work with some younger guys and challenge myself was attractive to me,” Kostjasyn explained.
“I’m just here trying to help our team improve, and whether that’s working with the hookers or just being part of the team, it’s something I’ve tried to do for many years now.”
When asked about what is required to gain consistency, Kostjasyn said it comes down to the little things.
“The way you go about your preparation week to week is key,” he said.
“It’s not only about training, but what you’re doing at home.
“There’s a lot that goes into performing consistently every week.”
And while Kostjasyn has a lot to offer to the Knights’ youthful squad, he says he hasn’t come to the Club searching for a leadership role.
“I don’t see myself as a mentor or anything, I didn’t come here with that goal,” he explained.
“Hopefully I can pass some of that information on to the boys, and just try and learn and improve myself.”