HAWTHORN midfielder Brad Sewell says he never reflects on the scenario, which almost had him traded to Melbourne at the end of the 2005 season.
Sewell was set to become a Demon, in exchange for then Melbourne defender Ryan Ferguson. Although both clubs and Sewell agreed in principle, Ferguson, who was under contract at Melbourne, did not want to switch to the Hawks.
As a result, Sewell remained a Hawk and prospered, winning last year's best-and-fairest award, yet the courageous Ferguson, who continually battled injury at Melbourne, was delisted at the end of 2007.
"It's funny how it has worked out. I've certainly no complaints from my end, but I certainly haven't thought too much about it," Sewell told hawthornfc.com.au.
"I'm in a pretty fortunate position here and I'm lucky enough to be a part of that. Hopefully it'll be a pretty exciting period for us.
"Everyone's got their story and that's where I could've been."
Sewell's ability to progress from the rookie to senior list has also been one of perseverance, as was his effort to overcome a shoulder injury and an appendix operation during the middle of this season.
"The shoulder surgery was halfway through the year and it was fortunate the split round coincided with that, so I missed four rounds and had my appendix out also," Sewell said.
"The first hurdle is to get the injury right and then get it to a stable enough position where you can play again, so you've got to find your feet and that takes a couple of weeks.
"If you're ticking all of the boxes, then eventually, it's going to turn for you."
Sewell conceded overcoming these injuries, physically and mentally, was difficult.
"It is hard, but you can't afford to dwell on it, because once you start trying to protect your shoulder or your stomach – that's when you're going to get yourself in a vulnerable position," Sewell said.
"So understanding that you're fit enough to play and everything is stable – you then just have to go about your business, without thinking about it."
Now an integral cog in Hawthorn's midfield, Sewell said he wasn't fussed about not receiving the plaudits other AFL ball-winners receive in the engine room.
"The side at the moment, we've got 'A-graders' everywhere, so those guys have certainly been at the level for a lot longer than what I have, which is fine – that doesn't worry me at all," Sewell said."As long as I can continue to play my role and we all keep continuing to perform at the level required."