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Rokahr takes to WAFL like a duck to waterThursday, June 20, 2024 - 12:05 PM - by Chris Pike

NIK Rokahr's start to his WAFL career at Swan Districts couldn’t have gone more smoothly so far which is no surprise given his credentials, but it's the momentum his team is now building he is most excited by.

Rokahr joined Swan Districts in 2024 on the back of a standout four seasons in the SANFL with Norwood where he won a premiership, won two fairest and best awards, and played for South Australia in a State match against the WAFL.

So the 29-year-old arrived with impressive credentials having originally come from Shepparton before also spending time playing in the VFL with Geelong and in the Northern Territory where he won a premiership at Southern Districts.

Therefore, it's no surprise to see him instantly take to playing in the WAFL so well but that doesn't make what he's doing with Swan Districts any less impressive being such a key part in the black-and-whites now sitting clear in fifth spot having won three straight matches.

Rokahr has now put together nine standout games to start his WAFL career with Swan Districts averaging 30.3 possessions with his consistency standing out with no games of fewer than 23 disposals and six with 30 or more.

That also earned him selection in the WAFL State team having only played six games in the competition by that stage.

Rokahr enjoyed the week off following the win over Subiaco and leading into this past Saturday's emotional win over South Fremantle at Steel Blue Oval for the John Todd Memorial Cup in front of a crowd of almost 5000 people.

He enjoyed the way Swans came out after the break too with the impressive 27-point win against the Bulldogs who are sitting in third position, but now just a game ahead of Swan Districts following the win.

"The week did come at a good time, both to freshen the body but the mind also," Rokahr said.

They are obviously one of the teams to beat so far this year, they look well coached and have some quality players.

"Loved the challenge and thought it was a good game. Look forward to the next time we play no doubt they'll come back stronger."

When Rokahr was weighing up his future in the off-season and once his Perth local partner got him to commit to the move to Western Australia, the decision was where to play his WAFL football.

There was no shortage of suitors given how impressive his previous four years in the SANFL had been at Norwood, but for a whole host of reasons it was Swans that sounded like being his best option.

A big part of that was the potential midfield he would be part of including two-time Swan Medallist Jesse Turner along with the likes of Aidan Clarke, Josh Cipro and his former Geelong VFL teammate Jackson McLachlan.

It's certainly paid off with Rokahr now adding to that midfield group along with fellow prolific on-ball recruit Jye Chalcraft. Now the Swans group through the middle is performing has them in the decision as the best midfield brigade across the WAFL competition.

Rokahr couldn’t be happier with how the midfield unit with Swan Districts is coming together so far this season and with how his own form going nine games into WAFL career, but he isn’t stopping finding ways to continue to improve.

"Yeah there's definitely no shortage of talent in that area of the ground and what I really like is we are all different players that complement each other well," Rokahr said.

"It's been a positive start, there's always going to be adjustments when you move to a new club/league but I feel I've adapted fairly well and feel there's more improvement with each game I play."

Now on the back of last Saturday's win at home in front of a big crowd over the third placed South Fremantle, the momentum on the season is building nicely for Swan Districts having won three straight matches.

That has them sitting on a 5-4 record to be a game and percentage clear of the sixth placed Claremont and only a game behind the third and fourth placed South and East Fremantle, and only two games out of top spot with Peel Thunder and East Perth sitting on 7-2 records.

That has Swans poised to make a charge throughout the second half of the WAFL season with Rokahr confident of them not only continuing to ride the current momentum, but to keep on improving as well.

"Yeah we have been building nicely, a couple tough close losses early but the group has maintained its belief," he said.

"We want to get better and it's starting to pay off now which has been good reward for effort so far."

Rokahr might still be new to Swan Districts and WA football in general, but any time he comes to a new club he becomes a student of history and has taken it upon himself to learn as much as he can about the club and the people involved previously.

When it comes to Swan Districts, there are few bigger names than John Todd who recently passed away with his football legacy including coaching Swans for 417 games in three separate stints, and to the 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1990 premierships.

Rokahr never got the chance to meet him, but did know a lot about him and was honoured to play as a mark of respect to him at Steel Blue Oval this past Saturday in the first game for both Swans and South Fremantle since he passed away.

Swans won the inaugural John Todd Memorial Cup as a result having already been in possession of the John Todd Cup, and Rokahr is glad to be part of that history now.

"Yes unfortunately I never got to meet the great man, but I definitely did my research on him," Rokahr said.

"What he has done for WA footy is unbelievable, people like Toddy have really paved the way."