Simpson medallist Paul Medhurst was thankful that Swan Districts didn't win through to yesterday's grand final after being soundly beaten by opponent Kyle Hams in the second semifinal two weeks ago.
Medhurst was in dazzling touch against East Fremantle, kicking six goals and having a hand in a couple of others in the Tigers' dramatic 26-point win.
But the former Fremantle and Collingwood forward said he thought he might have been dropped after a disappointing second semifinal.
"Two weeks ago I was as convincingly beaten in a game of footy by Kyle Hams as I have ever been," Medhurst said. "So I was glad when East Fremantle had a win last weekend because if they hadn't, I might not have got a game."
Medhurst said he had battled to regain his touch, confidence and fitness after missing seven weeks in the middle of the season with a broken hand.
The 30-year-old said it was fortunate that he and fellow forward Ian Richardson (three goals) had been able to step up with tall targets Tom Lee, Chad Jones and Jeremy McGovern having quiet days.
"Obviously Tom Lee has had an amazing year for the most part but when guys like that have been injured, there have been other guys that are able to step up," he said.
"It hasn't been me for pretty well the whole year but thankfully I did my bit today.
"I had two months off and I didn't really come back with a lot of run in my legs or a lot of confidence."
Medhurst described his Simpson Medal win as "pretty special".
"That's what you hope to do on big days. For things to come together at the right time and they did," he said.
Kicking two goals in the first and second quarters, Medhurst said it was pleasing to get early goals.
"It's always good to get a couple in the first quarter, confidence wise," he said.
"I was pretty fortunate today, I got in some spots where you don't always tend to get the footy and it fell in my lap in a way."
Medhurst said Claremont had made the most of their chances in a match East Fremantle dominated for large periods.
"It was a funny game," he said.
"We burst out of the blocks. I would probably say we were outplayed for the majority of the game but footy is a game of timing and momentum. We timed our run well, got a couple of goals at the end and then the siren went."
Medhurst said yesterday's medal wins helped ease the pain of 2010 when he missed a place in Collingwood's premiership side after losing form at the end of the season.
"I wasn't part of the Collingwood premiership which was sad. It was a timing thing. I was playing poor footy at a time when you want to be playing good footy," he said.
"In many ways it's full circle. I started off my career here, got drafted from here, came back here and wanted to play.
"Two premierships in a row is pretty special and I think it creates some momentum to create some history. Hopefully the club can go on and win another one."
Medhurst said he hadn't decided if he would play on next season."I'm not too sure. I'm not really much of a planner so I will take it all in, see how I feel and decide a little later," he said.
Do the Eagles get away with ducking when tackled?Vote
Do you have a story for us to investigate?
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.