AFL can be a cruel game, and it wasn't lost on Melbourne's Angus Brayshaw as he signed a lucrative new deal just days after Koby Stevens announced his premature retirement.
Both players had experienced major concussion battles but while Brayshaw was able to resume playing and has found career-best form, Stevens was less fortunate.
The St Kilda midfielder, 27, on Monday called time on his 91-game career after an ongoing struggle with delayed concussion symptoms.
"It's really hard to see and I feel really bad for him," Brayshaw said on Wednesday after signing a four-year contract extension.
"At the same time, he's doing what's best for his long-term health and I think that's got to be number-one.
"It's a bit of a reminder about how serious concussions are and it's not lost on me whatsoever."
Brayshaw missed large chunks of the 2016 and 2017 seasons after being concussed four times in the space of 12 months.
He later described the experience as isolating and mentally challenging, admitting his fear of copping another knock to the head made it difficult to work back into full-contact training.
Brayshaw was made to wait until round four before earning his first senior call-up this season but has since been in hot form, averaging 27 disposals and four clearances per game.
The 22-year-old had been due to come out of contract and was circled by rival clubs but said he never seriously considered leaving the Demons.
"The interest was flattering but I love Melbourne too much," Brayshaw said.
"Our core of young guys is developing together and has been together through some tough times. I think we've become really close and if you look across the ground, we've got most posts covered."
Melbourne football operations manager Josh Mahoney said Brayshaw had become an important part of the Demons' midfield.
"We now have all of our young midfielders signed for an extended period of time, which provides great stability for our group, and we can look forward to watching their development over the coming years," he said in a statement.