MATT de Koeyer will become the fourth Albury-Wodonga Bandits player to notch up 200 matches when he lines up against Bendigo on the road tonight.
The guard will join the illustrious company of Nick Payne (339), Allen McCowan (302) and Brad Chalmers (254) in reaching the milestone at a time when he is playing some of the best basketball of his career.
De Koeyer joined the Bandits as a 17-year-old from Wodonga after being sounded out by then-coach Harry Morgan.
“It’s not something I set out to achieve when I started playing, but these things come along and creep up on you,” de Koeyer, 28, said.
“I have been fortunate to have had a pretty good run with injury over the years.
“I wasn’t the most talented junior going around, but I figured out early on that I could fill a role that the coaches wanted and it went from there.
“Once I realised I could compete in the league my confidence grew.”
De Koeyer, who rates the 2012 championship as the highlight of his career, has no intention of giving it away just yet.
He has hit double figures in three of his past five matches coming off the bench and is eager to finish the season as strongly as possible in a roller-coaster home and away series.
His clutch efforts from long range have been a key to the Bandits’ recent run of form.
“I’m shooting the ball well at the moment, but it’s a year-by-year proposition,” he said.
“I have noticed this year a few of the young guys are half a step quicker.”
De Koeyer is quick to nominate the late McCowan as the best player he has played alongside at The Hideout.
“Obviously playing with Al all those years you saw a lot of talent,” he said.
“The stuff he did off the court was phenomenal as well.
“Brad Sheridan was another one, but I could rattle off a dozen names.”
The Bandits take on Bendigo at Bendigo tonight before hosting reigning SEABL champions Dandenong Rangers tomorrow night.
Chalmers’ charges defeated the Braves 95-86 at home in round seven but lost to Dandenong 111-77 on the road in round 12.
“We sort of haven’t thought too much about Dandenong at this stage,” he said.
“We are concentrating on Bendigo at the moment.
“They have had some peaks and troughs like us, so we are hoping we can stick to our game plan and execute it well.”