In the 2017 AFL National Draft the Bendigo Pioneers had four players selected.
Three of the four players - Paddy Dow, Lochie O'Brien and Angus Schumacher - were picked up by Carlton.
If the Blues had their way it would have been four Pioneers' products.
With selection 30 in the national draft the Blues had their eyes on a speedy small forward-midfielder from the Pioneers by the name of Brent Daniels.
However, with pick 27 the Greater Western Sydney Giants swooped and picked Daniels.
While Sydney is much further away from his home town of Swan Hill, the move north couldn't have worked out any better for Daniels.
Nearly two years later the Blues still don't have a quality small forward and Daniels is preparing for his first AFL grand final.
After a knee injury hampered his rookie season, the 20-year-old has played every game for the Giants in his second year and kicked 15 goals.
"To get a full pre-season in my second year ... I got a lot stronger and fitter," Daniels told AAP.
"Consistency with my pressure has been big for me this year.
"I didn't really expect to play every game, as a second-year player it's pretty special.
"It's been a great year. I've worked hard for it throughout the pre-season and to be in a grand final is even better, a bit of a reward at the end of the season."
Daniels' progression to an important player in a grand final team is no surprise to Bendigo Pioneers talent manager Steve Sharp.
"Brent was one of six or seven kids we had in the Vic Country under-16 team,'' Sharp said.
"He played Pioneers a couple of games late in that season as well.
"He actually started down back in a few of those early games. His run and carry off half-back was really impressive.
"He always had that speed and power and he had a good leap as well. We probably don't see it much at AFL level, but he does have a good leap as well.
"I think he can jump a bit like Jamie Elliott at Collingwood."
As a top-age player Daniels' exposure to the TAC Cup was limited because of school football commitments with Geelong Grammar, but AFL talent scouts had seen enough.
"His speed and defensive pressure was elite and that's why Carlton were so keen on him,'' Sharp said.
"I reckon he kicked five or six goals for us in a practice match over in Ballarat and he could have finished with seven or eight. He's a genuine goal kicker.
"You can see why he's so valuable to the Giants in what he's done in the past 10 or so weeks.
"He kicked that match-winning goal against Brisbane a couple of weeks ago and then kicked a good goal across his body against Collingwood last week."
At just 170cm Daniels is one of the smallest players in the AFL.
Growing up he never let his lack of height get in the way of chasing his AFL dream.
"When I was younger people would say it, but I never really listened," Daniels told AAP.
"I just listened to the people that mattered ... my family and my coaches always said that if I bought my best effort all the time, that I'd always be a chance.
"Once I got that confidence I was all good."
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