By Beth Newman
The first day Robert Mohr walked into the Western Magpies change rooms, he was dubbed the Tank, and it’s not hard to see why.
His imposing build has been the key to his speedy transition into AFL, a sport he discovered after leaving his home in Germany to travel the world.
Mohr played his first game of footy in Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road, after his then boss invited him down for a kick.
“I was always saying to my boss, oh, I really want to try this sport it looks funny and then one day he gave me a text and said do you want to play football?’,” he said.
“They were like what experience have you had and I said watched a game on TV and kicked a few balls, they said that should be enough and I got into it and yeah, just loved it.”
Mohr’s build saw him thrown straight into the ruck, but he has relished the chance to play more around the ground for the Magpies, with his confidence growing each week.
“(In Victoria) I played four quarters full time so I never got any exchanges, so, I never saw the football or my team playing from the outside, I always was in it.”
“Now I’m confident with what I’ve learned and with what people tell me that I can tell somebody do this and that.
“That’s definitely the biggest thing I’ve learned jut the confidence of the game and to be able read the game play and how it’s going to go.”
It’s been a steep learning curve for the 26 year-old, but he has thrived at Chelmer.
“I’m the kind of person, throw me in cold water and learn to swim, that’s the way I learn,”he said.
“I’m aiming to play in the seniors one day but I think it’s because of lack of experience and the skills are not where they should be but definitely in the future sometime.”
Despite settling down with a Queenslander and league fan, Mohr says he doesn’t think he will be trying either of the rugby codes any time soon.
“I am more like the person who likes to run. I don’t like the static (style) the rugby has,” he said.
“And in AFL it’s so quick and it can change so much…even when you’re 100 points behind , (you can) just turn the game around and that’s what I really like.
Mohr has a strong sporting background, having been an accomplished trampolinist in his hometown, coaching in more recent years, which he joked showed his penchant for choosing sports that might not play to his strengths.
“I’m pretty good at choosing sports for myself which are not really suited for myself like I used to be a gymnast and trampolinist,”he said.
Mohr seems to have found his feet at the Magpies, though, and is hoping to eventually crack a senior game.
After a year and a half in Australia, Mohr is keen to stick around.
“I didn’t really like the lifestyle in Germany,” he said.
“It’s all like it has to be that , you have to be married then ,you have to do an apprenticeship and then you have to stick to a job or go to university and I didn’t like that.
“I found Australia the lifestyle is so completely different.”