Launceston's Arie Schoenmaker turned his football season around following a 10-week suspension from the Tasmania Devils program.
Caught with alcohol at a pre-season training camp, Schoenmaker plied his trade for Tasmanian State League club Launceston and earned his spot back at the Devils.
The 18-year-old said the ban, which was initially confirmed by AFL Tasmania as "personal reasons", had plenty of speculation surrounding it.
"I feel like when it did come out that it was drinking stuff, there were some questions around it - as there would be," he said.
"But I used it as [something] where I can explain what happened, explain what I've learned about it and not so much touch on the negatives surrounding it but the positives and what I've taken out of it."
Interviewed by 13 clubs at the national draft combine in October, the rebounding defender said the recruiters felt the same way about the indiscretion.
"They tried to find out what I've learned about myself as a person and also what I've done to get better," he said.
"I got asked pretty much every interview but it was ... a good opportunity for them to see me as a person.
"There were a couple of testing interviews that I had where they were trying to test my character and asked some pretty tough questions but it was just a bit of an eye-opener.
"I used it as a way to just tell them about me and tell them who I am rather than a little bit less of the footy talk ... so it was a really good experience."
Outside of the combine, Schoenmaker let his football do the talking, earning a call-up to the Allies' national championship-winning side.
He played two games with the Allies, 10 with Launceston and eight with the Devils across the season, also earning a spot in Fox Footy's Longest Kick competition as a part of their grand final day coverage.
"The senior footy at Launceston was a big test," he said.
"I feel like I can play on the outside a bit but it was more contested footy and it was good development for my footy so I was pretty happy going back to TSL level.
"It took me a bit to find my feet but I took things I learned at Launnie into Devils as well and I feel like I had a good end to my year and did what I was capable of so it has put me in good stead leading into the draft."