IF JOSH Thomas is fortunate enough to hold up the 2018 premiership cup with his Collingwood teammates, that glorious moment will have nothing to do with his own personal redemption.
Saturday's game against West Coast will be the 67th of Thomas' career and the 35th since he broke back into the Pies' senior side after serving a two-year doping ban.
Thomas and then-teammate Lachie Keeffe failed drug tests after they took illicit drugs laced with Clenbuterol at the St Kilda Festival in 2015.
That Thomas has clearly owned his mistake and fought his way back to play AFL football says a lot about him.
That he went back to Brisbane and worked in a gym and was an Uber driver during his exile says a bit more.
Some might see Thomas holding aloft the premiership cup as a fitting finale to a stirring comeback tale, but he doesn't see it that way.
"I felt like when I played my first senior game (after the ban) that was a massive occasion because coming back onto the list wasn't enough – I wanted to play an AFL game because I felt like that would complete it," Thomas said.
"Then when I was in the team I wanted to play again and again, and now we're in a Grand Final.
"The goalposts change, I guess, but from the redemption side of it – if you want to call it that – I certainly feel like my teammates and my club have already welcomed me back.
"I don't need to prove anything to them."
After being so visibly wrenched from the AFL world, by his own hand, Thomas understands the interest in his story.
It's not comfortable, but he owns his past.
"I've just tried to embrace it ... there's no point trying to hide from it," he said.
"I don't think the Uber stuff is that big a deal, but it's a bit of a funny story that everyone wants to write about.
"It is what it is ... I've never tried to sugar coat it. It's just part of my story.
"I hope eventually my footy will take over and all of that (other stuff) will just be ancient history.
"But I'll never shy away from that."