Injury-plagued West Coast recruit Xavier Ellis was so desperate to rekindle his career at a new club that he agreed to a one-year contract with the Eagles.
An unrestricted free agent, Ellis bucked the trend of players leaving clubs for long-term or big-money deals, instead chasing a fresh start after 16 games for Hawthorn in the past three years.
A 2008 premiership player and the No.3 draft pick in 2005, Ellis said his deal with West Coast relied on him proving his body could stand up to the rigours of AFL next year.
"It's short term. I had a good chat to Simmo (coach Adam Simpson) and after a couple of years of injury I don't want to be locked away," Ellis said.
"If something goes amiss again, I can tell myself that I had another crack at another club and maybe footy's not for me.
"There's obviously triggers in the contract (for an extension) and if I get the body right, then hopefully I'll spend a significant period of time playing for West Coast. It's really positive and I'm just looking forward to getting out there.
"I feel my body is as good as gold, so hopefully my misfortunes are behind me."
Ellis' calf injuries this season stemmed from a decision to have an injection during the 2012 grand final in a bid to stay on the field.
One of Hawthorn's best players in the 2008 triumph, he was a key player in the first term against the Swans during last year's loss before breaking down.
He played just two AFL games in 2013 but will be fit to start pre-season training and is hoping to bolster West Coast's midfield.
The 25-year-old said he wanted to move interstate for a complete change and new coach Adam Simpson's appointment sealed his decision to become an Eagle.
"He was the midfield coach when he first came over, so I obviously had a player/coach relationship there and this year he was my mentor," Ellis said.
"This year we spent a bit more casual time together rather than footy-based time.
"I wasn't really playing a hell of a lot so we had to have a relationship away from football."
Ellis will help Simpson teach a new game plan to the Eagles.
He expects a highly-defensive approach, with similarities to the style employed by the Hawks.
Ellis said Simpson's ability to build relationships with his players would be one of the main strengths that his new teammates could look forward to.
"His office door will never be closed," Ellis said.
"But I'm sure he'll be downstairs among the players building those relationships.
"He's really hands-on with an open-door policy that builds strong relationships."The signing of Ellis gives the club a proven AFL player after the retirements of Daniel Kerr, Andrew Embley, Adam Selwood and Mark Nicoski. DID YOU KNOW? 16 The number of AFL games played by Xavier Ellis in the past three seasons