IT'S hard to imagine a time when players did not want to play under master coach Brian Goorjian but that was the case in his first ever gig with the Eastside Spectres in 1988.
Amid a mass exodus, two players did stay including a hard-nosed scrapper named Shane Froling.
For Goorjian, to be taking charge of the Hawks from scratch with Shane's sone Sam Froling on board is almost eerie case of history repeating.
"I coached his father and I think he had a tremendous influence. I always thought 'Sam ain't going anywhere' with his dad there behind me," Goorjian said.
"He was on my first team and it was just like starting here and it's funny, he comments on that.
"The [Spectres] program was wobbly, I came in and a lot of the guys left and said 'I don't want to be a part of this new thing, we want the assistant coach to be the coach'.
"[Shane] was one of two guys who stayed. It's all these years later, he's a 50-year-old man, and he says 'it's happening all over again with my son'."
Look closer and the similarities are uncanny.
The Spectres had been rebranded in 1988 and was in many ways a new franchise.
There was a flood of players leaving like there was after the Hawks fell into administration at the end of last season.
Once again, it was a Froling who stuck around.
"You see how Sunday Dech is performing, we lost [Glover] to the Kings and you saw how he was performing before he got hurt," Goorjian said.
"We weren't stupid, they were people we targeted to bring back but it was too risky [for them].
"For Sam to have that leap of faith and trust in the staff and the organisation was big.
"He was the one. He's seven feet tall, young, got a shot on him, can move with the ball.
"He's only going to get better and we knew what we were signing.
"We don't have an import in that position so he's going to play a lot and grow and he's a big reason we are where we are."
Froling himself says he did seek his father's counsel on re-committing to the Hawks, but other mentors gave similarly glowing reviews.
"I spoke to [Dad] a lot and he had nothing but positive things to say about Goorj but it wasn't the deciding factor," Froling said.
"He ultimately left it up to me and I spoke to other guys as well.
"Chris Anstey played for Goorj, Dave Andersen [as well] and they had nothing but positive things to say about him.
"It was a no-brainer really. It's been the most fun I've had playing a on a team for a long time.
"I don't think there's anyone else in the world that I'd rather be playing with right now with what he can do for my development as a player."
The irony on history repeating isn't lost on the 20-year-old, who's raging hot favourite for league Most Improved honours at season's end.
"I know with Dad's group they pretty much did a clean-out and then Goorj came in last year and did the exact same thing," Froling said.
"It's pretty cool because it's Goorj coming back to Australia.
"With Dad it was the first time he'd coached in Australia. It's cool for them to see it go full-circle."
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