Kysaiah Pickett of Melbourne poses during the 2024 Sir Doug Nicholls Round Launch at the MCG May 13, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

KOZZY Pickett has acknowledged he has had to change his technique when it comes to bumping, after serving three suspensions in the space of 27 games.

The star Narrm forward was suspended for two matches at the start of last year for a high bump on Bailey Smith, one match for a late hit on Patrick Cripps at the end of the season, and one week this year for a round four bump on Jake Soligo.

"I've had to change my game, definitely after (the suspension in) my first game back," Pickett said.

"I had to adjust a few little things, but I'm still going to be aggressive and I'm still going to play the way I play, but it's just adjusting my game so I don't make head-high contact with people.

"It has been challenging. As you saw against the Crows, I accidently got Soligo, so it's always pretty challenging when you accidentally hit someone in the head. I guess I'm working with the coaches, it's a pretty small thing for me to adjust, so it should be easy.


"It's a little bit of 'do I or do I not?'. It's always off instinct, as you play footy, so I guess it's whatever that comes to mind.

"The coaches tell me the little things I can change – it's not really changing my game, but just telling me not to be too aggressive."

Pickett is now into his fifth year on an AFL list, and while he joked he still feels like one of the kids, he's starting to recognise his own leadership, particularly in the Indigenous space.

He spent time growing up in both Western Australia and South Australia as a kid, and along with Narrm, will be heading west this weekend to take on Waalitj Marawar.

It will be a special time for Pickett and his immediate family, after partner Ardu gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter, just three weeks ago.

"It's always exciting. Every year I look forward to this (Sir Doug Nicholls) round and I'm sure a lot of the other Aboriginal and Torres Strait boys [are too]," Pickett said.


"It's more hype for Indigenous boys – for us to be out there, representing where we're from and our families. I think there's more hype around us.

"As I do get older, I feel like I can become more of a leader to the younger boys that get drafted. I can see myself as being a leader.

"Every time new people come in, I think they're the same age as me, then I ask them, and they're like three years younger, and I'm like 'far out, I've been here a while'.

"I grew up without my family, I moved to South Australia, then here, so being away from family isn't an issue and now I've got my little one.

"My partner, she has to do most of the work (with the newborn), so I give a lot of credit to her."