The end is drawing near for Kirk Hamblin but he's determined a four-year stint as coach of North Wagga has another week to run yet.
In Saturday's preliminary final, the Saints take on Marrar at Robertson Oval, the scene of last year's grand final heartache against the Bombers and last week's surprise 15-point loss to East Wagga-Kooringal.
But Hamblin's confident that with a little tweaking of the game plan and a spirited response from their on-ballers, they'll get another shot at ending the club's 25-year premiership drought next weekend.
"If we got beaten by 40 points (last week) I'd probably start thinking we might have to do something out of the ordinary," Hamblin said.
"But we got beaten by two goals and we definitely had our opportunities. So we're not going to change too much, just tweak a few things.
"Our midfielders are our best players. At the weekend they got beaten at the clearances easily and that's a bit out of character for our boys so I'll definitely put it on them to bounce back and even up the clearances."
Riley Martyn comes on to the bench for the Saints in their only change, replacing Corey Watt. Losing the former league medallist to a hamstring injury hurts but Martyn has been a regular fixture on a half-forward flank this year, playing 12 games. He was unavailable last week, when Watt made his return from injury, but gets the opportunity to come straight back in.
Hamblin says the two-goal loss to the Bombers in last year's decider won't feature in their thinking or preparation.
The history they do take into account is the round 11 loss to the Bombers, when North Wagga kicked 1.6. In the whole game. It was their most dismal effort of the year.
"By a mile. We've been in every single game this year, bar that game. After that, we sort of turned the corner. We restructured our forward line and the way we move the ball and we've really benefited from that," Hamblin said.
"No doubt we'll keep in mind what happened last time we played them, how they played and how they were able to beat us by five goals."
The Saints denied Marrar the minor premiership for the first time in three years but top spot only has you comfortable for one week of finals. Hamblin doesn't believe the prospect of a straight sets exit will play on their minds.
"I suppose everyone feels pressure. I'm sure Marrar would be feeling the same thing. It's do or die this weekend. Obviously we had a good season, we finished on top and got our double chance. We've had to use it but there's pressure in every final," he said.
Keeping turnovers to a minimum and Marrar's runners in check will be the key for North Wagga. In essence, they need to bring the finals pressure that EWK have shown is the short route to the big dance.
But the 30-year-old coach who last year took the Saints to their first grand final since 2004, and this year to their first minor premiership since 2004, isn't going to over-egg the pudding when it comes to how much this means to him.
"I'm going in pretty confident. But it is what it is, it's just a game of football," Hamblin said.
"We all enjoy it because we like to play with our mates. No matter what the result is, I'll be proud of the boys and I'll be happy with the job I've done in my time as coach."