Brendan Bryce's thoughts of a comeback began in the most unlikely of places.
The Bulldog had all-but conceded his days of senior football at Turvey Park were behind him, taken by a troublesome hamstring that just wouldn't come right.
"I'd thought about retirement, that's for sure," Bryce said.
But in his commitment to stay around the club, the 26-year-old was assisting with up and coming juniors.
"It started because I was helping out with the under 17s as an assistant coach. I thought I'd have a few training runs with them to get to know them and get to know their strengths.
It just progressed from there. I felt alright so I ramped up my training and got to the trial matches and it went from there."
Two weeks ago in Griffith, Bryce played his first senior game since 2016.
"I guess I was a little bit concerned about it but it was good to be back out there with the boys," he said.
More important than his own game to Bryce, was the way the side played, having a 'red hot dig' against the unbeaten Swans.
He said it was a change from three years ago when the Bulldogs battled through a winless season.
"The morale around the club is a lot better. We've got a lot of young talent coming through the ranks and we've got some senior players that have really stepped up," he said.
No-one was happier to bring Bryce back than Turvey Park co-coach Mark Carroll.
"He's just a fantastic clubman and he's one of those fellas - he could've given it away a few times, but he's persevered. A lot of people would've given it away," Carroll said, adding that his decision-making, skills and experience are also vital to the side.
But after a bye last week, life doesn't get any easier for the Dogs in their ambition to join the competition's contenders, travelling to Coolamon on Sunday.
Without Matt Bailey (overseas), potentially Josh Ashcroft (work) and the suspended Luke Cuthbert. Bryce is set for increased responsibility, in the midfield against a hot Hoppers.
"I watched them play Ganmain. Jake Barrett's skills and pace are really impressive and it's not just him - Luke Redfern and Max Hillier are very good players as well. We'll have to be on our toes," Bryce said.
But he said big man Nathan Byrne, in the ruck and around the ground, has been an important addition to the side.
And down back, where Turvey will need to be strong to contain the danger of Jerry Maslin, Joe Redfern and Nick Pleming, he said defenders Chase Grintell and Jack Haggar have been in good form.
As well as the 12-point loss in Griffith, when they were cruelled by kicking 5.15, Turvey lost to Tigers by 14 points on Good Friday.
But they started their season with a win against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes in round one, and are hoping to make it two from four with an upset at Kindra Park.