WAGGA City Wanderers under-20s captain Sam Jones has persevered through the tough times.
Like many of his teammates, success was fleeting coming through the junior ranks when playing in the Sydney competition, but this Sunday's grand final is reward for persistence.
In their first season under the National Premier League ACT Two banner, the under-20s became the club's first senior team to make a decider after accounting for O'Connor Knights 4-1 in last year's preliminary final.
They were joined by the under-17 girls, who won through to their grand final with a 4-2 victory over Belconnen United, and will meet Canberra United Academy in the big one.
The Wanderers under-20s finished fourth at the end of the regular season and face runaway minor premiers ANU in the grand final at Deakin Stadium from midday.
Midfielder Jones, 19, said the Canberra outfit will have the pressure on them to make a dominant season count, especially at home.
"ANU have a class squad, they've got some really good players but us boys have been very tight every single game," Jones said.
"There's very little pressure on us compared to them. If we can start the way we have the last couple of weeks, it will be a good game.
"We have to make sure we don't concede early, put some pressure on them and make sure they don't have time with the ball and shut down their options."
The girls program has been a big success in its first year, with the under-13s, under-15s and under-17s all making finals.
The two younger squads were unlucky to be knocked out last week but the under 17s, who scored more goals than any other team in the league, have the firepower to test Canberra United Academy.
"It's the first year for the Wanderers girls and it's been a great success having one of their teams in the grand final, hopefully they can win it as well," Jones said.
The majority of the under-20s side has progressed through the club's younger grades, and that squad continuity has helped them take the next step this season.
"I've played every year since 2015, it's good to get into the finals after going through those hard years," Jones said.
"We haven't added many players this year, most of the team's core has stuck together all the way through and have been here for four or five years.
"We know each other's movements and how we like to play so it makes it easier.
"It's a big reward becoming the first senior team at the club to make a grand final."
The under-17 girls grand final will be held at Canberra's McKellar Park from 1.30pm Sunday.
The under-18 boys will also look to make a grand final when they take on Brindabella Blues in a preliminary final at Kaleen Enclosed Oval at 9am Sunday.