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For every AFL player who bursts onto the scene, makes an immediate impact, and goes on to have a long and successful career, there is another who is made to wait for their chance.

For these players, it must seem for sometime like their chance might never arrive.

But footy has a knack of rewarding those who show perseverance and persistence. This round throws up two such examples: players at polar opposite ends of their career, but who have both – for different reasons – been made to wait for their chance.

James Podsiadly is the ultimate example of being rewarded for persistence. The soon-to-be 33-year-old was rejected by six AFL clubs, despite being the VFL’s leading goalkicker for numerous years, before he got his chance with Geelong as a 28-year-old.

In his four seasons with the Cats, he played 83 games, and in four finals series, including the 2011 premiership. Not a bad return for a player, who, when he made his debut, was one of the oldest players in the team.

However, there was more persistence yet to come. Delisted at the end of last year as Geelong looked to give more opportunities to young forward Shane Kersten, Podsiadly was picked up by the Crows.

Posiadly has shown good form in his games for his newest club this year, exemplified by the fact that he is ranked fifth in the competition for contested marks.

This weekend, he plays his 100th game, a milestone that several years ago surely seemed to be well out of reach. Given his good form this season, it would seem injury is the only thing that will stop Podsiadly from reaching the 150 mark.

At the other end of the scale is luckless Hawk Alex Woodward. Drafted in 2011 (after a successful TAC Cup year in which he captained the Sandringham Dragons to the premiership), Woodward could have been forgiven for thinking that an AFL debut would not be far away.

However, his body unfortunately had other ideas. Woodward ruptured his ACL in his first pre-season match, and, 11 months later, ruptured the same ACL in a training session.

Since recovering from his injury, Woodward has been a pillar of consistency in the VFL, showing the form that led the Hawks to draft him in 2011.

In his last month of VFL football, he has averaged 20 disposals, and has shown run and dash off half back. That form has led the Hawks to finally hand Woodward his debut and on the biggest of stages, against premiership rivals Sydney in prime time.

If Woodward can replicate his good VFL form at the AFL level, he seems set for a long and fruitful career. And, given what he’s gone through, you can’t help but hope this is the case.

Podsiadly and Woodward may be at the opposite end of their careers, but both are exemplars to the fact that persistence and perseverance pay off.

One beset by injury, the other told he was too unfit and not talented enough to play at the highest level: both have been rewarded for not throwing in the towel.