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Calm under pressure

"I love coming in here and getting to do what we do every day, and I'll be grateful for as long as I get to do it."

The end-of-year meeting with the coaches is one many players dread – but not Robin Nahas.

A shoulder injury saw the former Tiger miss the last 11 games of the 2014 season and his career was on the line for the second time in 12 months. Nevertheless, he stayed positive.

"I honestly thought to myself, 'you know what, I was in the side (early in the year) and you can't help bad luck. So if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out’," Nahas told The Age’s Emma Quayle.

RELATED: Nahas player profile

Despite being moved from the Roos' senior list back to the rookie list, the small-forward remained upbeat.

"Robbie had only been here a year, so I did think 'how's he going to go with this?’,” assistant coach Shane Watson said.

"He was impressive. He was really honest, he wanted to hear what we had to say and he basically said 'I'm happy either way. If I get an opportunity on the senior list or I get one on the rookie list, then it's still an opportunity.' He was really good, and I think that's just how he is. When I watch some of the vision and we kick a goal, when they pan to him he's always smiling."

Nahas wasn’t going to get down about the news – he remained fully focused.

"The coaches have been really good to me, they were honest with me and I just answered their questions. To me, it didn't make any difference whether I was on the primary list or going back as a rookie. It didn't matter.

"Of course you wish you're not the one to be delisted, but someone had to be. I thought, if they give me any sort of opportunity to stay then it's simple and it's good, because the rest will be up to me."

Since that day, he’s set about winning back his spot in North’s best team – the words of the coaches ringing in his ears every step of the way.

"They all said it. They said, 'that's why we got you; that's what you're here for.' They said if you can do some good things offensively then that's great, but we want you as a pressure forward.

"I thought, 'well, if that's what they want (pressure), then that's what's going to get me games.

"It's a simple thing to focus on because it all comes back to effort, and it's funny how when your entire focus is on what you're doing defensively, you can start to get some rewards offensively.

"I love kicking goals, don't worry about that. I love them more than anything, but they're the last thing I go into games thinking about or worrying about. It's all about how manic I am defensively. There's times I'm good at it and times I'm not so good, and sometimes you can be good at it and things just don't fall for you, the same as anyone else anywhere else on the ground.

"Either way, I know what I have to do for the team and I know what's going to make Brad (Scott) say 'yep, you've ticked all the boxes this week'. He's not going to call me in if I haven't had enough kicks, but he will bring me in if I haven't tackled enough or pressed up hard enough. And I would have already known that, anyway."

Clearly Nahas’ attitude has impressed. After eight goals in two weeks at VFL level during the pre-season, he was elevated onto the senior list and called up for the round two clash against the Lions.

Playing in the last three games, he’s booted five goals and averaged 17 disposals.

Like any player, a couple of quiet games could see him back in the reserves. But North’s number 28 holds no fear.

"All I can worry about is what's right in front of me and what I can control each week," Nahas added.

"That's how it's always been and I enjoy it, to be honest. I haven't known it any other way but I'm grateful every time I get a new contract and I just love playing football. 

"I love coming in here and getting to do what we do every day, and I'll be grateful for as long as I get to do it."