After his 7am wakeup call, whatever's happened for the rest of Adam Cerra's 22nd birthday is probably an anti-climax.
Cerra's manager Robbie D'Orazio quickly roused him from his slumber on Thursday morning with confirmation of his AFL trade to Carlton.
The Blues gave up the No.6 pick in the national draft and a future third-round selection to secure the Fremantle onballer.
"I was still half-asleep when I found out," Cerra said.
"It probably hasn't sunk in yet."
Melbourne also made a pitch to Cerra, which he confirmed made his choice harder, but he had been set on Carlton for a while.
A catch-up coffee with Blues captain Patrick Cripps in Perth several weeks ago helped convince Cerra that he wanted to join Carlton should his wish for a return to Victoria be granted.
"I wouldn't say it was a sales pitch - I was picking his brain a lot about the playing group," he said.
"He had nothing but good things to say about the club. They're a very tight group and he was really excited for all the changes and the direction that the club's headed in.
"He made me really want to be a part of that and it probably did ease my decision as well."
Cerra wasn't dissuaded by several weeks of turmoil at Carlton, with Michael Voss taking over as coach and Brian Cook becoming their new chief executive.
"I had full confidence in them, backing them in to get the right people for the group," he said.
"They kept me informed ... I was very grateful for that and it really made my decision even easier."
Indeed, even though he is still in Perth, Cerra fronted a Zoom media conference wearing a Blues polo top, thanks to a Carlton employee who is visiting the city.
While Cerra had his heart set on Carlton, the 76-game onballer said the decision was about family, not wanting to leave the Dockers.
The media conference was broadcast from the study of his now-ex teammate Andrew Brayshaw's home, where Cerra is staying before he moves east.
"It will be funny next year, lining up (against) him," Cerra said.
"It will feel like a pre-season scratch match, in a sense, because we've played on each other a hundred times at training.
"I'm sure it will be a lot of fun playing against each other."
Ultimately, Cerra said two years of COVID-19 border restrictions convinced him and his partner that it was time to return to Melbourne.
"The whole COVID situation has put a lot of things into perspective for me and what's most important in my life," he said.
"The last couple of years (have shown) anything can happen in this world and being around your family is a priority for me."
Australian Associated Press