AFL recruiters live a life dotted by the gamut of emotions.
It runs from deep satisfaction to disappointment and even ridicule. But, as Collingwood guru Derek Hine found this week, there is also devastation.
A club's chief recruiter is almost always the one who first makes contact with a potential new star of the future - as it was for Hine with John McCarthy before the Magpies selected him with pick No.31 in the 2007 national draft. It was their highest selection that year.
Hine's heart dropped heavily this week with the news that 22-year-old McCarthy had died in an accident in Las Vegas. Suddenly, his time in Adelaide this week to scout for new stars did not seem as important.
Lack of opportunity in a Collingwood midfield flooded with talent led McCarthy to seek a new home at Port Adelaide in 2012. But he remained a favourite son among the Magpies.
"It just knocked me for six - it was just shocking, it really was," Hine said of the former Dandenong Stingrays junior.
"I've got two boys a similar age and I must admit I haven't been hit like that for a while.
"You get close to the kids you draft and John was a terrific kid from a terrific family.
"I remember when Noel Judkins and I interviewed him down at his place in Sorrento and his mum was off to the Cox Plate. I think he was in between exams and he just sort of bounced out with this really carefree attitude.
"He'd bounce into your office and just stand there in front of your whiteboard.
"He'd then be pushing up this bloke from the Stingrays and that bloke from the Stingrays."You can see the way it's affected the whole industry, not just Collingwood and Port Adelaide, how much of a tragedy it is. He really looked like he was starting to build his career."
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