The emotion in his own voice almost caught Matt Hard by surprise.
He's coached two clubs to premiership success but suddenly, approaching the end of a long season, there was the chance to talk about what it will be like to coach his son Ash in a grand final.
"It's something I thought about at the start of the week and it's a bit surreal," Hard said.
"To watch your kids grow up and play sport, you follow them as a parent... Ash, footy's never been super important to him and this year he actually said, 'Dad, I'm going to have a fair dinkum crack this year.'
"I said, 'Yeah, mate, no worries at all.'
"To his credit, he has. He's been outstanding. He's improved out of sight. And you sort of pinch yourself. I've pinched myself to think, wow, you're coaching your son in a senior grand final. It's an amazing feeling. And if we are lucky to succeed at the weekend, it'd be hard to knock that off as one of the highlights in your footy career, that's for sure."
Plotting a path to winning is the focus for Hard (senior) now. The coach resisted making changes to a winning side, with Chris Jackson overcoming an achilles injury to take his place.
Jackson's set to start on the bench, with ruckman Nick Hull named in a pocket and Kyle North-Flanagan in as the starting ruckman.
Captain Ben Absolum is on a half-back-flank with Bryce McPherson alongside Harry Fitzsimmons in the middle.
Myles Carroll and Daniel Hitchens are emergencies, along with Ryan Bourne.
"People keep telling me it's a great position to be in (having players pushing for spots). Obviously until you're the person making the decision on the last two," Hard said.
"But the boys that have got us there have been pretty thick the last few weeks. To get dropped you'd be very unlucky."
Rewind a few weeks and we had to play Temora to get the double chance. We've had two really good finals so our last three weeks have been against quality opposition and we're ecstatic we're playing good footy at the right time.
East Wagga-Kooringal won their first game against the Saints with a kick after they siren, lost by 13 points in the return match, and then won the semi-final by 15 points. Hard says he can't see anything but a classic unfolding.
"It's going to be a tight game. There's been nothing in it. There's been three games where there's been nothing in it and I really can't see how it will be much different again this week."
But he's confident the Hawks are peaking at the right time. Knocking over the teams that finished fourth, second and first on the ladder is a pretty good form line.
"To be where we are, we're ecstatic that we're playing good footy at the right time," Hard said.
"Obviously North Wagga are great opposition and have been on top of the ladder all year, and deservingly so. So we're happy that we've given ourselves a chance and very happy with the last month."
Hard said there's no singular key to stopping the Saints. The Hawks will focus on their own game because it would be bamboozling to try to start shutting down every aspect of the strengths he sees in North Wagga.
"Their forward line worked really well, they create space for each other, they attack the footy really well. They've got depth in their midfield... there's heaps who go through there," Hard said.
"Their back six do create plenty of run and they do break games up with that run. I've watched them pretty closely and I've had a bit to do with Ben Alexander (at Coolamon). He likes to run and he can be an 80- or 90-metre player for them.
"Hopefully come Saturday, our strengths are stronger than what North Wagga's are."
One of those strengths is the league's leading goalkicker, former AFL player, Chris Ladhams, who'd been well held by North Wagga during the year but kicked four goals to help get them to the grand final.
"Chris has obviously got a lot of experience and played a lot of high level footy. One thing with our forwards, you've only got to look back two weeks against Marrar when Chris didn't play and our forward line still functioned very well," Hard said.
"Chris is a big-game player and he's a big name. But all we're asking of Chris is to play his role and present."
On a personal level, Hard himself is thrilled to be back on the big stage for the first time since directing Coolamon to Riverina League success in 2013.
"It's great. You sort of take it for granted. I haven't been sitting in this chair for a long time so I'm rapt to be sitting here today," Hard said.
"Being over at East Wagga, it's been a great club. They've welcomed me with open arms. To be sitting here before a grand final for all three grades, second year in, I'm ecstatic.
"There's obviously been a lot of hard work by a lot of people but we're looking forward to the weekend."