Being de-listed by the AFL's youngest club is hard to stomach for any young footballer, but Gerald Ugle is happier than ever.
The 21-year-old knew the writing was on the wall at Greater Western Sydney late last year when he was a regular in the reserves despite the struggles of the league side.
Ugle accepted his fate when the axe fell after three matches in two seasons at the Giants and returned to Perth where he has reunited with former colts coach Damien McMahon.
And the move is already paying dividends for the Beverley product, who helped catapult the Demons to a slashing start at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
Ugle amassed 22 disposals across half-back and hurt last year's minor premiers Claremont with his slick foot skills and penetration.
The performance was the icing on the cake as the club unearthed several unheralded youngsters in its commanding 65-point triumph, 19.10 (124) to 9.5 (59).
It was Perth's biggest total in a season opener for 20 years and has them perched on top of the ladder for the first time in six seasons.
"I've settled in really well. I got the drift towards the end of last year at the Giants when I wasn't getting games," Ugle said.
"Playing in the reserves over there made me want it more this year. I didn't mind coming back to the WAFL. There's a lot of AFL recruiters to see me play well here. I'm happy to be back."
The optimism surrounding Perth was clear from early in the contest, despite the late withdrawal of stars Chance Bateman (soreness) and Cale Morton (concussion).
The Demons blew the game apart with 10 unanswered goals during a period of dominance from two minutes into the second term until late in the third.
Debutant Bradley Keast shut down Sandover medallist Luke Blackwell, Jarryd Morton was a steadying presence in defence and Matt Moody recovered from early errors to kick four goals.
Cameron Manuel, in only his eighth game, also showed he could be the future of Perth's engine room with 27 disposals.
A horror day for Claremont was capped off by a hamstring injury to utility player Trinity Handley that is expected to keep him sidelined for a fortnight.
Their unhealthy reliance on Blackwell and captain Jake Murphy in the midfield was highlighted with both very quiet.