SAM MENEGOLA'S Gatorade shower must have felt like the best shower the 24-year-old had enjoyed for a while.

Finally, he was an AFL player on a winning team that had launched itself back into premiership calculations.

After being on Hawthorn's list for one season in 2011 and then Fremantle's list for three from 2012-2014 without cracking a senior game, he had began to wonder whether it was folly to continue to chase the AFL dream.

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A stint at Subiaco in 2015, where he played 12 games and left with a premiership and third placing in the Sandover Medal, allowed him to fall back in love with footy.

So when Geelong called the West Australian's name in the national draft he was prepared to travel back to Victoria with the footy boots packed to have another crack.

A knee injury in the opening game of the NAB Challenge set him back again but after six games in the VFL he was ready.

But he wasn't picked.

So he sat around on Saturday afternoon as the rain tumbled down and prepared as though he was playing.

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"I went through my normal pre-game routine during the day because I couldn't forgive myself if I got the nod and I wasn't ready," Menegola said.

It was a smart decision from Menegola as he was told 15 minutes after he arrived at the ground that he was to replace ruckman Zac Smith with the Cats' coach Chris Scott breaking the news.

After six years of waiting he was ready and the opportunity came, with veteran Jimmy Bartel presenting him with his jumper and passing on his congratulations.

A slick handball to Cam Guthrie that the latter turned into a goal was a steadier for the nerves and an opportunity to live that dream.

"It was nice. It was just exciting because I have only ever played WAFL and VFL so even just [hearing] the crowd once he kicked it was a bit of a rush so it was not so much relief it was just fun being involved in it," Menegola said.

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He didn't rest on his laurels, finishing with 26 disposals, five marks, five tackles and 14 contested possessions.

The moment had arrived and he had delivered. 

"I never gave up hope but you just start finding it a bit hard to see how it is going to happen," Menegola said.

"It was nice to see what it was like and I absolutely loved (it). I was sort of hoping they could add a couple of quarters on to the end so we could just keep going."