Axed Hawthorn defender Tom Murphy is easing his selection heartbreak by training as if he will play in Saturday's AFL grand final.
For the second time in his career, luckless Murphy will miss the premiership decider - this time to make way for skipper Luke Hodge's return from illness.
But Murphy is preparing just in case there is a late call-up as happened last weekend for the preliminary final against Adelaide.
He was an emergency for that game but replaced Hodge when the skipper fell victim to gastroenteritis.
"I've still got to prepare as if I'm playing," Murphy said on Friday.
"I wasn't in the selected 22 for the prelim but I ended up having to play.
"The challenge for me is to prepare as if I'm playing and who knows what will happen?"
Murphy was also dropped following Hawthorn's 2008 semi-final in their premiership campaign and was an emergency for both the prelim and grand final that year.
The 26-year-old feared he would be the man to miss out for Hodge.
As soon as he saw coach Alastair Clarkson making a beeline for him following training on Thursday, Murphy knew what was coming.
"Clarko grabbed me yesterday afternoon. It was the tap on the shoulder you try to avoid, but it's just one of those things.
"Personally I was disappointed, but I knew I was always on the edge."