Craig Notman's football lifeline came in the form of a reunion with Mitch Thorp at Launceston.
Squeezed out of AFL Tasmania's set-up after job cuts in August, the former state manager had planned to take a break from football after 25 years in the game.
But the offer of a development coach and gameday assistant role at the Blues proved too good to refuse.
Boasting a succession of key roles including AFL talent co-ordinator, Melbourne general manager and Oakleigh Chargers talent manager, Notman will bring a wealth of experience to Windsor Park.
What's more, he believes the state's first four-flag winners will help to restore his love for the game.
"I had no intention of doing anything footy-wise this year and probably not for a long while, but we had a catch up and sort of rekindled a little bit of interest," Notman said.
"I wasn't overly interested in footy but what Thorpy sold to me in terms of what they're doing here and knowing some of the young boys through the Devils program got me thinking a little bit and using it to get back to enjoying footy again.
"I'd probably fallen out of love a little bit with footy and dealing with what we've had to deal with over the past few years and with all the COVID stuff too, I hadn't really contemplated doing anything.
"But the more I thought about it the more it appealed and it was just getting back to footy being footy for all the right reasons.
"I think in terms of working I don't think I'd ever do it again like I've done before - I think it's probably come at a good point to explore something new and work out what I want to do moving forward, but I think this gives me an opportunity to stay involved in footy in a way I'll enjoy rather than being work ... this'll be quite refreshing."
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Having spent much of his career as a talent manager, Notman will feel right at home among the Blues' younger players, some of whom he coached in his two-year stint with the Devils.
His relationship with Launceston's coach stretches back more than a decade.
"I've known Mitch since he went through the Mariners many moons ago and we've stayed in contact quite a bit," Notman said.
"I tried to get him to Melbourne when I was there but we couldn't quite get him over the line - I think the doctors were a little bit sketchy over his foot at that stage.
"But we've kept along and stayed friends and the other part is he's been a really good sounding board and gave some assistance to me in my role with the Devils so if I can repay the favour a bit ... we'll see how we go."
Thorp said: "As a personal friend of mine I'm so pleased to have him at Launceston.
"He's obviously been involved in some very high-level programs, he's been the general manager of the Melbourne footy club and looked after Oakleigh Chargers where Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson went one and two [in 2019], so he knows what top-end talent looks like and he can certainly help our aspirational players."
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