A round-one AFL debut looked a million miles away for Billy Gowers when couldn't crack a game in the VFL at the start of last season due to ankle surgery.
Sent back to amateur footy after missing round-one selection at state league level, Gowers soon returned and ended up impressing with 20 goals across 19 games with Footscray.
Twelve months on, the Bulldogs rookie now has two senior games under his belt and will line up against Essendon at Etihad Stadium this week.
"Going back to local footy with Old Xaverians in the VAFA and having a bit of fun was great, but I never thought about getting redrafted until the end of last year," Gowers said.
"It's great being out on the field now (with the Bulldogs) and having a run around, but I hope I'm contributing to the team because it's been a such a long wait to play senior footy."