Quinn fear for career
Longford's Michael Quinn has admitted that for a time at the end of season 2010 he thought his AFL career could be over.
Having returned home on holiday in October it was more than five weeks before the out of contract rookie got a call from the Bombers to offer an extension of his rookie deal.
The reason for the delay, the high profile but also long drawn out appointment of former club legend and former International rules player James Hird. Now with his future secure the 21-year-old is eager to impress his new coach, who won the Jim Stynes medal for his performances in the 2000 series.
"It was a tough few weeks," Quinn said. "You try not to think about it too much but every day when I got up I'd check the AFL website to see if there had been any news about the new coach. Then you'd be ringing other guys to see if they'd heard anything.
"And then there are always people asking 'When are you going back?' and 'Do you know if you are?'. I would just say that I was waiting to hear back and that I'd have to see what happens but people get sick of hearing that and there's nothing else you can say."
Quinn played just two senior games in season 2010, but strong performances throughout the season for the reserves saw him pick up the 'Best and Fairest' award for the Bendigo Bombers.
Despite the award providing some assurance that the club would want him, he did think about the possibilities if he were to remain at home. I'd it in my head that they'd have to give me something after that (the award) and you have to try to stay positive.
"But as the weeks passed, I was starting to think that they weren't interested.
"So you have to have a back-up plan. I was looking into going to university and playing for Longford again, just in case things didn't work out."
Then just a week before he was due to fly back to Australia the club rang to offer a year's extension on his rookie contract.
Needing extra time to think about his decision, the club granted him a few days breathing space.
"I needed extra time to think about it," he admits. "It's a big decision and I needed to talk to my family. I'd about 10 days to decide and I decided it wasn't something I could say no to."
Now, with his future decided, Quinn is hoping for a better season in 2011.
While training in the snow at home, sometimes with only his girlfriend's dog, Ted, for company, he had plenty of time for reflection.
The Killoe clubman says that while he was pleased to be honoured by his reserves' side, he'd like to have had the chance to wear the senior jersey more.
"I was annoyed that when I did get in, I didn't take my chance. When you get in, you want to stay in and hold your spot and I didn't do that. So I need to work on that."
So far the signs have been positive for the former Gaelic footballer. And while the new coaching set up brings a certain level of uncertainty, it also brings opportunity.
"It's a new regime and a chance to make a new impression so that's a good thing too."