Not many AFL players can say they've had their most productive year in their ninth season at the age of 28, but the career of GWS utility Sam Reid has never followed a conventional path.
Reid eventually got to play his first finals game last weekend, just a few days after the tenth anniversary of his debut with the Western Bulldogs.
He chalked up his 50th game earlier in the campaign and has tallied a career high 20 appearances in a season.
His rollercoaster career, which has included delistings and persistent shoulder issues which forced a two-year break from playing during which he did some coaching, has been well documented.
What isn't so well known is how the disappointment of missing out on the Giants' first two finals campaigns drove him to make sure it wouldn't happen again this year, if GWS made it to September.
In 2016, Reid was dropped after round 20.
Last year, his last appearance was in round 16, after which he missed the next two weeks with an ankle injury and was subsequently unable to break back into the senior side.
Those setbacks motivated rather than demoralised Reid.
He implemented changes which resulted in him having what he now regards as his best pre-season.
"The last two years I thought I was in a position to probably play in the finals and got overlooked," Reid told AAP.
"I didn't want that to happen again this year, so I had a focus and that sort of drove me through pre-season and my training away from the club.
"I changed a fair bit in my diet and little things at home. Made sure I was pulling up well after games, because it's so taxing and with my history of injury I didn't want that to kick in this year.
"It's actually worked, I've played the best year."
Reid has become a handy role player for coach Leon Cameron, capable of playing up forward or down back and performing run-with jobs.
Australian Associated Press