After being linked to Hawthorn in the early stages of this year's trade period, Massimo D'Ambrosio faced a nervous wait to finalise his move to the club.
On the deadline day, Hawthorn announced in the final minutes that D'Ambrosio would be joining the club.
The phone call that shortly followed from the brown and gold was the perfect start to an exciting off-season holiday in Queensland for the 20-year-old.
"I was on the first day of holidays away with my family, we were all just sitting by the couch and waiting for a phone call to happen," D'Ambrosio reflected.
"Once the phone rang, it was a very exciting moment for me and my family - it was pretty surreal."
The versatile youngster started his AFL career in 2022 after being picked up in the mid-season draft by Essendon which featured the likes of Hawthorn's Max Ramsden and James Blanck.
D'Ambrosio later made his debut in Round 14, a fortnight after being drafted, and in just his third game of AFL he received a Rising Star nomination.
While D'Ambrosio admits his arrival into the AFL system was different to others, he wouldn't have had his experience any other way.
"I didn't have a lot to relate to at the time at the club, the AFL environment was new to me. I think I had a great support network before I was drafted to be able to get in there and get to work as quick as possible and maximise my opportunities," he explained.
"I played my first game within two weeks of being in the club, so I was lucky in that aspect."
After playing 16 AFL games across a season and a half, D’Ambrosio said he was seeking a fresh start under Sam Mitchell in brown and gold.
"I think this new opportunity for me at Hawthorn will be really good for me," D'Ambrosio said.
"I've been watching the Hawks a lot this year - they look like they have so much energy amongst the group. Being such a young side, it's really exciting about the future.
"I've met Sam Mitchell a few times now and he sounds like he knows a lot about footy, he has a lot of knowledge and seems like he is taking the group in the right direction, so I'm really excited to be apart of it.
"I think my kicking is probably one of my biggest strengths. I like to get up the ground, use the ball and deliver, and create something with the ball - I'm pretty confident when I have the ball in my hands.
"I feel like I can bring others into the game. I've played a few different positions across half back, wing and forward across my journey."
D'Ambrosio said he was looking forward to getting back on the track, with Hawthorn's first to four year players set to commence pre-season training on Monday.
"I'm just so excited to be part of the club and can't wait to get into it with all of the boys," he added.
"It looks like all the boys are really eager - there were about 20 of them in the gym when I came in - it's great to see and I'm really looking forward to getting amongst it.
"I'll speak to Sam a little bit more in the coming weeks on where he thinks I'll play, but wherever that is I'm hoping to bring something to the team."