IN THE early 2000s, a young Ollie Wines would ring 3AW's talkback line to chat to Rex Hunt about his Carlton hero Andrew Walker.
Yet over a decade later Walker was picking up the phone about Wines, trying to orchestrate a trade to solve the Blues' answer for a big-bodied midfielder.
It was late 2019 and Wines had been left frustrated after his debut season as Port Adelaide's co-captain. A skiing injury over summer had cost him the first two matches of the campaign before leg and thumb setbacks reduced him to 12 games for the season.
And Wines' family and friends became aware of his openness to a move to help reinvigorate his career.
Enter Walker. Through a connection with Wines' father Tony in their hometown of Echuca, the former Blues high-flyer put in a call to Carlton to alert them the young midfield bull could be gettable.
With two years to run on a contract for 2020 and 2021, Wines was open to exploring some potential options.
A visit to Melbourne to watch Richmond beat Greater Western Sydney in the 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final further fuelled his thinking before sitting down with Power coach Ken Hinkley and football boss Chris Davies shortly after.
They assured him that his time would come and to be patient with what they were building. A finals miss in 2019 was followed by a preliminary final run in 2020 before Wines put pen to paper on a fresh contract in the off-season to extend him his stay at Alberton until 2026.
In the first season of his new deal, the 26-year-old won the Brownlow Medal.
"There was a little one (trade potential) a couple of years ago," Wines told ABC's Corbin and Ben on Monday night.
"Obviously he's (Walker) got links back to Carlton and nothing was put into place and the wheels didn't start to move, but he was sort of a bit of a conduit there to join me to Carlton.
"It didn't happen and I'm pretty glad it didn't happen because I love this club, I love what we're building. Despite not reaching the ultimate success the last two years, I know what we're capable of and we'll be contending for the rest of my career here."
Wines, who will turn 32 at the end of his current deal, admitted to looking at a move previously given the business-side of football.
"Any player's got to look after themselves these days, it's such a cut-throat industry with players and coming and going, and clubs, in all honesty, have got to look after themselves so you've got to see where your opportunities are yourself," he said.
"I did at times have thoughts about going back to Melbourne but obviously that didn't eventuate."
Wines and Walker joined AFL.com.au's Where It All Began program in 2016 to recount their memories of playing at Echuca as juniors.
STREAMING ON DEMAND Where it all Began: Walker and Wines
Walker returned to Echuca as coach in 2018 and will lead the club as a co-coach in the Goulburn Valley Football League in 2022.