NIAHL Dwyer spent the best part of his 200-game career feeling like one of the younger players.
But when Port Fairy changed its direction upon Brian Medew's appointment as coach, it shifted almost overnight.
Dwyer, 31, will clock up the milestone against Wesley Yambuk on Saturday, the culmination of a two-decade stint at Avery's Paddock.
He told The Standard the Pirates' culture encouraged feedback and growth among the group.
"Everyone is a leader around the club. Everyone is given the platform to take on handing out advice to people and that kind of thing," the bowler said.
"I think it does put a bit of maturity and confidence in your own game. You notice things and see things in kids you relate to and remember going through that sort of thing.
You give advice and whether or not they listen to you is another thing but you're given that opportunity within the club to feel like you have that say and that voice.- Niahl Dwyer
"You give advice and whether or not they listen to you is another thing but you're given that opportunity within the club to feel like you have that say and that voice." Some might say it's how he's built. Dwyer, a year five-six teacher at Allansford Primary School, commutes to work each day from Port Fairy and remains invested in the seaside village.
"I've been lucky enough to have a few older cousins who were at the club and I just followed them through the ranks at the club," he said.
"I'm Port Fairy born and bred and I've just always been Port Fairy. I'm a big believer in 'you play where you live', that kind of thing.
"It's nice to be in a position where I'm enjoying playing Port Fairy so it's nice to be playing there and living there."
That love of club and town - coupled with the Pirates' state of the art facilities - meant Dwyer never looked elsewhere.
"There's lot of great guys around the place and if you drive to Port Fairy and look at the facilities, they're as good as you'll get in country Victoria," he said.
"That's probably the big drawcard for me as well. If it's looking a bit cloudy and you get a bit of rain, that's fine, you can still train indoors.
"We get to play on one of the best wickets in the region and having those cousins that I've played with, my uncle is a curator at the ground, there's that strong family link." Port Fairy has found life tough in division one through the summer.
The departure of two-time cricketer of the year Jason Perera back to Sri Lanka in the off-season left a hole in its batting and bowling depth while captain Alex Jennings spent a long stint on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
While it's been competitive, results haven't fallen its way and playing finals will be an uphill battle for the eigth-placed outfit.
"We've probably been a bit disappointed with how our season has been unfolding," Dwyer said.
"It was always going to be tough losing Jason at the start of the year but we've still got a really strong belief on any given day we've got the players available and the depth in the team to win."
As for Dwyer, it's simple. Keep enjoying cricket and leave nothing out in the middle.
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.