Sam Reid feels like "a kid in a candy store" after being given a rare third chance at AFL level by the GIANTS.
After 10 games with the Western Bulldogs from 2008-2011 and 14 in two years at GWS under inaugural coach Kevin Sheedy, persistent shoulder injuries forced the tough Queenslander to retire at the end of the 2013 season.
He took up a development role at GWS and captained their NEAFL side, where he thrived as a mentor for the club's younger players and starred as a permanent forward, kicking 54 goals in 32 games while also building his coaching credentials.
Reid had his sights on the top job at the GIANTS reserves for 2016, but those plans were wrecked midway though last season when senior coach Leon Cameron asked him about becoming an AFL Giant once again.
"The last year or so everyone joked about (me) getting picked up but when Leon actually mentioned it to me I thought he was taking the piss," Reid, now 26, told AFL.com.au.
"I thought he was joking, it was a weird conversation and I started laughing.
"Now I'm running around at training like a mad man, purely on excitement.
"I honestly can't believe it, I didn't think I'd ever play again.
"Two years ago if you had have asked me (about being on an AFL list), I never would have thought that I'd get another opportunity."
The GIANTS selected Reid with their first pick in the 2016 rookie draft at No.8 overall and he was back for another crack at an AFL career, this time with a healthy body to work with.
Being able to train throughout the pre-season was no doubt a major factor in his improved form at the lower level but Reid said his mental state, rather than his physical ability, was the catalyst for his outstanding form in the NEAFL.
"I found a different perspective at that level. I was more about helping the young blokes than worrying about myself, and it helped me see the game differently," he said.
"I reckon that helped me play a lot better and I don't want to lose that perspective now.
"Blokes sh*t themselves about making mistakes and I used to do that as well.
"When I was on the list (previously) I used to panic and get flustered, and think about if I was going to get a game the next week.
"I think that's one of the reasons I've played well over the past two years because I haven't had that pressure.
"You're going to make mistakes but you have to get over that as quickly as possible and get on with it."
The former Bulldog can't help but laugh these days; it's what most of his teammates, friends and family did when he was drafted for a third time.
Remarkably, his first game for the GIANTS came against his former club at Manuka Oval back in round five, 2012 – the same venue and opposition he faced in his 'second' debut for GWS in last Thursday's NAB Challenge clash against the Dogs.
Reid hopes to play a role up forward as the GIANTS chase their maiden finals appearance, and while he's happy to be back on the rookie list for now, he has bigger goals for the rest of 2016.
"The main one is obviously to get on the senior list and play games, which would be the ultimate," Reid said.
"I have to lead by example because I'm a bit older and I've been the coach, so I try and lead the way with communication.
"If you're not communicating, you're not helping anyone so that sort of leadership role is where I see myself."