To understand who Danny Bromham is at East Wagga-Kooringal, imagine yourself accosted by a Hawks ex-player, a concreter, absolutely buzzing in the street last year: "DB's back in firsts!"
That he was. And look, now, a bit over 12 months on, he's still in firsts, and has a second grade team also set to chase a premiership.
Bromham was away for years, missed the club's rebuild, and just went out to Gumly for a run last year to keep fit after he came home. Playing in a senior premiership, he couldn't imagine.
"No! I've only played in one in about 20 years," Bromham says, referring to EWK's 2001 loss.
"I didn't know if I'd get another chance."
Bromham got a call-up last year to help out amid injuries.
This year, he was among them, and thought his chance might slip away again when he broke his collar-bone mid-season.
But it's no coincidence the return of the tough, inside midfielder has coincided with a four-game winning streak leading into the decider against North Wagga.
"I come back through the twos, Matty (Hard) put me in the ones, and I was lucky enough I had enough time up my sleeve," Bromham said.
"Halfway through the year, we probably didn't expect (to be heading to a grand final) with our injuries and what-not, but once we got them all back on the paddock, we started playing some good footy. The club's turned around since then."
Bromham is rapt in the way his senior teammates have just found a way to win, a will to win, to beat Temora, Marrar and North Wagga in succession, but believes their best is yet to be seen.
"They've been good but we've still got a lot of improvement. We just found a way to win, dig deep and get away with the wins. But we're still far from playing our best footy," he said.
Running the reserves, who also play North Wagga, as well as playing seniors hasn't been easy, particularly changing focus from coaching mode to playing after three-quarter-time.
Although on grand final day, it might be a nice distraction, and help avoid overthinking the senior game.
"When I took the job, I dunno if the plan was for me to play first grade. But I did the pre-season and got myself into a position to play," he said.
"I do (love it). These chances don't come round too often. We've just got to make the most of it."
He said Luke Adams and Craig de Piazza have helped him out immensely.
"It's been a bit of a combined effort, Luke's coached them the last four or five years. He's the captain and he's a great help," Bromham said.
The injury toll in first grade has, naturally, had a big effect on the reserves too.
"The first half of the year, we were borrowing boys out of the 17s and a few of my boys playing up so it was a juggling act. We're back to being a steady team again," he said.
"And our 17s are not just making up numbers - they're a handy bunch."
All that reminds him of how good it is to be around the club at this point in history.
"There were some long seasons (when I was here last time)," he said.
"It's great. This is my second home out here. I've been here since I was 14 or so and to see it like this, three grades into the grand final with a week off, and everyone up and about and smiling, it's good."