A throwaway line from Simon Goodwin on the eve of the AFL grand final revealed how Melbourne's newest premiership coach has evolved.
Asked how he had spent his downtime ahead of the big game, Goodwin described driving to a beach north of Perth before heading to the pub for a "parma and a pot".
A day later, he guided his side to a drought-breaking premiership that will make him a Demons immortal.
Not bad for a workaholic and almost obsessive coach who had found himself under significant pressure heading into 2021.
"Everyone had a bit of a laugh that he went away and had a pot and a parma," Demons football boss Alan Richardson told AAP after Saturday's grand final victory.
"He would not have done that two years ago.
"You know, he would have been looking at more stoppages or looking at more (game vision). He's so consumed by the game.
"He's done a good job there ... he's much more balanced now."
Richardson, who coached St Kilda for six seasons before being sacked in 2019, knows all too well the pressure and loneliness that accompany senior coaching roles.
The 56-year-old was recruited by Melbourne later that year as part of a concerted effort by the club to put more support around Goodwin.
Melbourne had won just five games that season and Goodwin admits the pressure and stress had overwhelmed him at times.
"I was investing a lot and it was wearing me down emotionally," he said while reflecting on the side's journey to the premiership.
"I wasn't being me."
Melbourne's football department restructure continued during a difficult 2020 off-season in which Goodwin and his wife separated.
The club added highly rated assistant Adam Yze and former Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams in a development role.
"We went for experience and we went for winning," Richardson said.
"We made changes around Goody to give us and give him and give the team the best opportunity. But he was already a pretty impressive coach.
"He's got as good a footy brain as I've come across. I've worked at eight footy clubs - I've been in the system for a long time.
"He's so impressive in that space."
Freed to focus on himself, Goodwin sought out mentors away from the game who worked with him on conserving his mental reserves, learning what to give energy to and what to let go.
In his words, he eventually got back to smiling and having fun. His relationship with his players grew stronger and the results began to start tracking in the right direction.
Star midfielder Christian Petracca raved about Goodwin after winning the Norm Smith medal as best-afield in the 74-point smashing of the Western Bulldogs.
"He's been unbelievable for me in my journey," he said.
Club president Kate Roffey, who stepped up to replace Glen Bartlett earlier this season, said Goodwin's growth as a coach had been obvious.
"It's like when I was a first-time CEO: you're afraid that if you don't do everything yourself, you're going to get it wrong," she told AAP.
"He's got a really supportive president, he's got a supportive board, he's got a supportive CEO. So that pressure then starts to come off as you realise you're part of the bigger group and together, we're actually going to make it work."
Australian Associated Press