Nik Rokahr is one of Shepparton’s most reliable players.
Across the past two seasons he has been named among the best players for the Bears 22 times, taking the field on the half-back line and through the midfield.
Rokahr, 22, said in recent years he had improved his overall standard of play.
‘‘I’ve probably been more consistent, maybe two years ago my best was a bit different to my worst, but now I’m pretty consistent, which is the main thing,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s just through experience and more games and each season you get a bit stronger and a bit fitter and through experience and knowing how to treat different circumstances, (you gain consistency).’’
Helped by a lack of injury, Rokahr is nearing the 100-game mark, after transferring to the club to play thirds in 2013.
‘‘I’ve missed a week with concussion and I think that’s it,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been fairly durable, but there were a few games where I was a bit underdone, but I played.’’
He was one of many Shepparton players to make the move from Congupna with Mitch and Joel Brett, Matt Shannon, Luke Smith and Anthony Andronaco among the players he took the field with at The Road who now don the maroon and yellow.
After arriving at the Bears, Rokahr said he had had some exceptional coaches help him improve.
Playing as a midfielder and forward as a junior, Tim Little moved him into the back line to help his development.
Outgoing senior coach Brad Campbell continues to help him along the way.
‘‘He’s been fantastic, to get a group from zero wins to two finals appearances in four years is a great effort,’’ Rokahr said.
‘‘He’s been a fantastic coach even though I can be a pain in the arse at times to coach, but he’s put up with me and I won’t deny that I wouldn’t be the player I am without him and his reviews.’’
Rokahr was named in the interleague side for the first time this year, rising to the big stage against Ovens and Murray in May.
It was an acknowledgement of the hard work that had contributed to his rise.
‘‘It was really good, I was pumped to be selected and play in the side with some superstars and to learn off Jase Cole and Ben Clifton, you learn so much about how they prepare for games and it was a really good experience,’’ Rokahr said.
The electrician lives with Shepparton co-captain Ted Lindon and forward John Bradaric, with plenty of pranks occurring between the trio in the house.
‘‘They’re two peanuts to live with, but it’s good, it’s got its perks and the downfalls aren’t too bad,’’ Rokahr said.
‘‘We aren’t too sick of each other and it’s good fun, when we first moved in I didn’t know how it’d go, but it’s been good getting to training (with each other) and (there is) lots of banter.’’
A solid game from all three across the ground will go a long way to defeating Rochester.
Rokahr has plenty to live up to as a proven big game performer, having been potent in the Bears’ two finals last year as well as against Kyabram last week.