North Wagga coach Kirk Hamblin believes Saturday's grand final against East Wagga-Kooringal could announce the arrival of some genuine stars of the future from Saints.
Hamblin said it's no secret that the Hawks have proven matchwinners around the ground, from midfield star Chris Gordon to full-forward Chris Ladhams, full-back Trent Garner and premier ruckman, Nick Hull.
"East Wagga's top three or four are close to the best in the league, that's their strength for sure," he said.
"We've got our big names too but they're 22, 23 years old and haven't fully gone through their careers and got all the accolades they're going to get."
They include co-captain Cayden Winter who's led their charge all year, as well as fellow midfielder Jake May, and rising junior representative star Kane Flack.
Corey Watt's won a league medal while Guy Ward is yet to be seen at his best after an injury-plagued season.
They've all helped the Saints cope with key departures after last season, including some guns.
"Everyone's talks about your superstars (like ex-forward Daniel Jordan), the blokes travelling from Canberra (former star Lachie Highfield)," Hamblin said.
"But I think people don't really talk about your Jake Mays, your Cayden Winters, Tom Bennetts - who people still don't talk about, which bewilders me.
"They're great players but they're just kids coming through. They probably don't get the praise they deserve. They're the ones polling well in our best-and-fairest... I knew those blokes would step up, they just had to believe in themselves.
"I think it was more the speculation that 'you've lost your superstars' (after last year). Yeah, they were good players but we've got a really good core there of Ben Alexander, Troy Curtis, Corey Watt, Jakey May, Cayden Winter. They're five absolute guns who are local boys."
That crew also includes the reliable and under-rated Brayden Skeers at full-back, while Alexander's ability to inject run is second-to-almost-none.
Speaking of which, Hamblin isn't hiding what North Wagga see as the path to glory at Robertson Oval against EWK.
"They're really good at the contested stuff so for us it's going to be about trying to open the game up, use the width of Robbo, use the space there and try to expose them that way," Hamblin said.
He acknowleged the Hawks have speed too but is backing North Wagga's defence.
Their ability to keep teams to low scores all year has been outstanding but Hamblin believes a combination of nerves and safety saw them play a little too defensively last time against EWK.
"The reason we keep teams to low scores is because, yeah, we're accountable, but we attack quickly and rebound off half-back really well," he said.
"Win or lose, I want the boys to attack... if we go down, we want to go down swinging."
Like the Hawks, North Wagga go in unchanged from their last game, with Hamblin confident there's no risk in small forward Corey Watt lining up despite a hamstring concern.
He's also not fazed by outside concerns over whether they can kick a winning score.
"We've changed a few things up from a couple of weeks ago," Hamblin said.
"Our defence keeps team to around 60 points consistently. Our midfield do a great job defensively. If we can get our forward line to click, and kick over that 60, we'll be in with a good shot. I can't see it being a shoot-out, like 100 points each. It's going to be a tight contest."
The grand final will bring down the curtain on Hamblin's four-year stint as coach. His focus in the final days is on enjoying the occasion.
"Our main message is that it's another game of football. Just relax. It's not do-or-die. It's a game of footy and we love playing it because we love playing with our mates. If we do go down, the sun's going to rise on Sunday," he said.
"We're still going to have a good time and celebrate. It's about giving it our best shot."
I'm really excited now that we're up to the stage that we're level pegging with East Wagga. We've built up towards it and it's going to be a cracking game on Saturday.
Hamblin is proud to have led the club to be on the big stage with the Hawks in firsts and reserves.
A grand final local derby might be something special.
"It's obviously a really strong rivalry with East Wagga. I sort of watched them when I first arrived at North Wagga," Hamblin said.
"They weren't getting the ultimate success then (in 2014-15) but they were the best team and ended up winning one in 2016.
"Obviously very envious but I'm really excited now that we're up to the stage that we're level pegging with East Wagga. We've built up towards it and it's going to be a cracking game on Saturday."