Now his putrid season is history, Collingwood star Dane Swan can sense another premiership to crown his stellar AFL career.
The 2010 premiership player and 2011 Brownlow Medallist will play his 250th game this Thursday night against Port Adelaide.
Injury and illness wrecked Swan’s season last year and he famously called it putrid.
The 31-year-old admitted on Tuesday that if he was not still under contract, he would have considered retirement.
“I probably would have seriously thought about giving it away because I was going nowhere, quickly,” Swan said.
“You always have doubts and I think everyone out here probably had doubts that I couldn’t get back to somewhere near my best.
“But I always thought that if my body was OK, that I was still mentally sharp enough to run around and get a kick.”
Swan and Collingwood are playing much better this season, reminding him of when his career was at its peak.
“This has been as enjoyable a year as I’ve had, probably since 2010-11,” he said.
“The group is really tight and it shows in the way we play that we care about each other.”
He added there are no limits to what the Magpies can achieve.
“If we continue to bring that effort and intensity every week, well, we think we can go as far as we want,” he said.
“If I think there’s a premiership in sight then I will keep going and I certainly think there is, so hopefully I do get one before I go.”
Apart from his on-field brilliance, Swan is one of the game’s most fascinating players.
Swan is as famous for his love of tattoos as he is for his midfield ability.
There has also been off-field misbehaviour – including a public brawl in 2003 that nearly had him sacked from Collingwood – but Swan has become much more of a likeable scallywag than a ratbag.
Of many funny quotes at his Tuesday media conference, his best came when asked what he had learned in his early years at the suburban Westmeadows football club.
“Don’t get caught – I didn’t stick to that too well,” he said.
Swan also professed to have no idea how he had played in the AFL for so long.
“I’m like a cockroach, they just can’t kill me,” he said.
“No matter what, I’m still here.”
And Swan doubts he will become an AFL coach once he retires, noting the amount of video review involved.
“I struggle to watch the highlights on the news,” he said.