Tom Langdon, Magpie half-back. Photo: Getty Images
The heartbreak of missing out on the 2012 AFL draft has spurred Tom Langdon to make his time at Collingwood count.
A year after missing out completely, Langdon waited until pick 65 in last year's draft to hear his name read out by the Magpies.
Since then, he's wasted no time forging a role in defence at the biggest club of all.
Langdon has played in each of the Magpies' matches this year, much to his surprise.
"Being a first-year player, I wasn't expecting it," he said.
"I guess I was just improving each week in training, building in confidence every week."
Langdon was named as the AFL's rising star nominee for his damaging role in Collingwood's win over Carlton on Friday night.
"It's reward for effort in a way and I'm pretty happy to get it," he said.
His eight marks, 23 disposals with 87 per cent efficiency helped stymie the Blues for three quarters when the game was won.
His rise has delighted coach Nathan Buckley, who said being passed over at the 2012 draft gave him resilience and drive.
"We have found a player who still has a lot to learn and will still have his ups and downs but is showing us he is capable of playing at the highest level," Buckley said.
Langdon's break-out debut season has perhaps impressed the hundreds of thousands of AFL fantasy players even more.
His outstanding form has made him one of the AFL's most valued players - for his cheap price and high scores.
And his mates let Langdon know when he hasn't performed.
"They'll always giving me stick for not performing ... they're always the first to tell me how I'm going."