The hearts of Essendon supporters all over the country were filled with joy recently when the Davey twins, Alwyn Jr and Jayden, nominated the Bombers as their club of choice under the father-son rule for this month's AFL draft.

After another woeful season, and a tumultuous off-season, the news provided some much-needed positivity for the long-suffering red-and-black faithful.

The boys, of course, are the sons of Alwyn Sr, who played 100 games and kicked 120 goals for Essendon across seven seasons, before retiring in 2013 at the age of 29.

But this November fairy tale that Essendon are about to experience came perilously close to not eventuating at all.

Have another look at the Davey Sr's final games tally – 100, which is precisely the cut-off mark for eligible father-son recruits.

And if we cast our minds back nine years to Davey Sr's final season with the Dons, it becomes clear just how uncertain the fate of his future Essendon lineage was.

After a solid start to 2013, a hamstring injury suffered in Round 7 sidelined Davey Sr for three weeks, but he failed to recapture any decent form upon his return.

Stranded on 96 AFL games, he was then dropped and spent an extended period in the VFL to recapture form.

"He played some good footy (in the) first half of the year, I think he just dropped off in the work around the contests, he probably wasn't winning enough of his own ball," then-Essendon coach James Hird said of Davey at the time.

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It wasn't just Alwyn Jr and Jayden's Essendon fate that was at stake here, because they also have two younger brothers Alijah and Cruz.

The prospect of four Davey brothers all potentially playing together in the same team, like the Danihers famously did back in 1990, hung in the balance.

And it went right down to the wire, because with four rounds left in the 2013 AFL season (and speculation mounting, which eventually came to fruition, that Essendon would be kicked out of the finals if they finished in the top eight due to their infamous drugs scandal), Davey Sr was still toiling away in the seconds.

But almost as if Hollywood scripted it, in the lead-up to Round 20, Alwyn Sr produced a standout performance against Sandringham at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, kicking three goals, gathering 17 touches and laying seven tackles in a characteristic high-pressure display up forward.

“We definitely want Alwyn to be a 100-game player for the Essendon Football Club,” Hird insisted.

And Hird would come good on his word, picking the small forward for the Bombers' Round 20 clash against West Coast, and keeping him in the team for the final month, to ensure he reached triple figures and qualified his four boys to be recruited by Essendon.

Hird might've been a central figure to one of the most catastrophic chapters in the Bombers' long and proud history, but the addition of Alwyn Jr and Jayden to the Bombers' list in a couple of weeks' time is essentially a belated gift from Hird to the Essendon faithful nine years in the making.

Indeed, it has ultimately turned out to be a rare bright spot that emanated from that turbulent and chaotic 2013 season as the club's drugs scandal erupted.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 24: AFL draft prospects Alwyn Davey of Vic Metro (Front L), Harry Sheezel of Vic Metro (Back L), Oliver Hollands of Vic Country (Back R) and Jhye Clark of Vic Country (Front R) pose for a photo during the 2022 National Development Championships U18 Boys media opportunity at The Hangar on June 24, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Alwyn Jr and Jayden are a pair of exciting small forward prospects who the Bombers hope over the next couple of years will help satisfy their need for some genuine pace, skill and pressure in that part of the ground which was badly lacking in 2022.

And as if their entry into AFL football won't be exciting enough for them, they will be mentored by Essendon cult figure Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti who has ended his brief retirement to play with the Bombers again in 2023.

After so much drama and upheaval recently, seeing McDonald-Tipungwuti and a couple of Daveys buzzing around the forward line might just be the tonic for Essendon fans next year.