ONE OF the most laconic players in the AFL has quickly turned into one of the most reliable for Gold Coast in 2022.
After playing just 31 games in six seasons for Richmond, Mabior Chol has been rock solid in his first year at the Suns, playing every game and kicking 30 goals.
In fact, along with Melbourne sharpshooter Bayley Fritsch, Chol is the only player in the competition to kick a goal in all 14 games this season.
Speaking to AFL.com.au ahead of Saturday's monster clash against Collingwood at Metricon Stadium, the 25-year-old said it wasn't an easy path heading back to his home state during the off-season.
He was hopeful of making an immediate impact, but admitted he had a lot to prove.
"A lot of people were saying I could come here and just walk in and play, but I knew I had to earn the respect and knew I had to work really hard to show the football club what I've got," Chol said.
"I'm super glad I've been able to perform the way I have.
"Credit to the fitness staff who have put me in a position to perform consistently.
"I had to work a lot on my fitness, it's something I've probably lacked in the past.
"Personally I've got a lot of work to do this off-season coming up."
Following the season-ending knee injury to Ben King in February, Chol has formed an unlikely pairing with a rejuvenated Levi Casboult in the Suns' forward 50.
The bullocking Casboult has kicked 26 goals in 13 games, and his bash-and-crash style that almost always brings the long ball to ground is a perfect complement to Chol's mix of aerial prowess and work at ground level.
Chol has kicked three or more goals in seven matches, including Sunday's nail-biting loss to Port Adelaide, where his 3.3 included two score reviews that ended in behinds after the AFL's Score Edge showed they had brushed the post.
So laid back is the lanky left-footer, it was hard to detect his disappointment, aside from a wry smile.
"That's just who I am, I'm a relaxed person," Chol said.
"People sometimes think I'm too relaxed going for a set shot, but I am pretty confident of who I am.
"It's just my routine and something I've got really comfortable with.
"I don't think I need to change anything aside from putting that ball between the big sticks.
"I've got a lot of good players around me and been lucky enough to end up on the end of a few set shots, but there's a lot of blokes working super hard to make my life easier.
"I'm super grateful for the opportunity and we've still got a lot of games to go, so I'll just focus on that."