Star Hanwood midfielder Andy Gamble returned to Australia not knowing if he would even able to line up in the Pascoe Cup grand final.
But not only did he get given the green light to return from a controversial suspension, but played a big role in helping the Pascoe Cup newcomers to a dramatic 2-1 grand final victory over Lake Albert.
Suspended for five weeks while playing for the Wagga City Wanderers, it looked like the ban would end Gamble's season with Hanwood as well before he was cleared to play this week.
After returning home to England for his brother's wedding, Gamble was thrilled to be able to take his place.
"I was in England last week at my brother's wedding and came back early just to play in the final," Gamble said.
"I was going to miss it but we managed to get the bye so I went back and came back on Thursday just for the final so I'm pretty thankful.
"I was told I was 50-50 so I came back just in case to make sure I was here for the boys if I got the call up.
"I'm thankful to get in the team and I'm absolutely buzzing."
A suspension to Michael Musitano also made it easier for the diminutive midfielder to come straight back into the side.
Despite missing the back end of the year he got through the 120 minutes after the scores were locked at 1-all at full-time.
After missing the end of last season after breaking his leg, the 27-year-old was thrilled to come away with the ultimate prize.
"I'm just absolutely over the moon," Gamble said.