THE 2013 AFL door finally opened for Jesse Crichton, but it took some extenuating circumstances for the boy from Derby to get a run.
Crichton benefited from Fremantle coach Ross Lyon's finals-orientated decision to make 12 changes to the team that travelled to Melbourne to take on St Kilda, and the 21-year-old wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
The former Northern Bomber was given the defensive responsibility on retiring Saint Stephen Milne and performed admirably.
Despite Milne's 2.0 from 21 touches and 10 score involvements, Crichton was still able to have an impact.
He collected 15 touches at 87 per cent efficiency, affected one clearance, took five marks, applied 16 pressure acts and had two score involvements in a positive display.
But with half a team likely to return, Crichton, whose year has been hampered by quad and hip problems, is unlikely to retain his place for September.
Also making a rare appearance for the season was Burnie's Maverick Weller, who played just his fourth game for the year as Gold Coast downed Greater Western Sydney on Sunday.
He didn't waste his opportunity. Weller collected a career-best 27 touches (15 kicks and 12 handballs) and took 11 marks (also a career best) playing midfield and across half-back.
Fellow Burnie boy Luke Russell played on Liam Sumner in defence, collecting 13 touches and taking eight marks, while Sumner kicked 1.1.
Lauderdale's Jacob Gillbee kicked 1.2 from 14 touches on Nick Haynes, while Hobart's Aaron Hall kicked 1.1 from 22 possessions on Matthew Buntine.
Hall finished second on Gold Coast's goal-kicking list with 24, four behind Gary Ablett.
For the Giants, Launceston's Tim Mohr was the loose man in defence, and collected 20 disposals, and despite some ugly turnovers still went at an efficiency rate of 80 per cent.
Dodges Ferry's Jeremy Howe found his spring in his best outing in weeks as Melbourne's miserable season came to an end on Sunday.
Howe took a late contender for mark of the year as he floated all over the ground to finish with 1.0 from 15 touches and five marks.
Wynyard's Colin Garland spoiled Daniel Giansiracusa's 250th party by keeping him to 2.1 until the Dog hurt his ankle in the final term.
Garland was also able to have an impact going the other way, collecting 19 touches, taking seven marks and kicking a rare goal.
Liam Jones, of West Moonah, was quiet with just 1.1 from seven touches and three marks, although his sole major did seal the deal for the Bulldogs in the final term.
Devonport's Grant Birchall tuned up for the finals with a 25 disposal outing against Sydney in Hawthorn's tight win on Friday.
He went at the exquisite disposal efficiency rate of 92 per cent, had four rebound 50s and four inside 50s and kicked his sixth goal of the season.
Ian Callinan ended his season in the red vest after being subbed out of Adelaide's win over West Coast in the final term.
Fellow Clarence product Josh Green was almost Brisbane's super-sub again after kicking two last-quarter goals against Geelong.
Teammate Ryan Harwood, of Glenorchy, was outclassed by Paul Chapman, with the Cat kicking 2.1 from 26 touches while Harwood collected 17 possessions.
Mitch Robinson, of Lauderdale, had a quiet night against Port Adelaide with just 11 disposals in Carlton's come-from-behind win.