The siren sounds at Robertson Oval and the scoreboard confirms East Wagga-Kooringal's day has arrived. A 40-point win against Coleambally in the 2016 grand final buries the phrase 'premiership drought' and dispatches some demons.
"It was just a relief," says Brocke Argus.
"We were touted as favourites the year before and got beaten by The Rock. That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. To finally get it, it was a relief."
He looked for those for whom it meant the most.
"It's always for the club. That's why you play for that club, isn't it?" he says.
"It was unreal. It was something very special. I remember going up to Paul Bourne. His grandfather 'Bully' Bourne had passed away the year before and I promised him we'd get one for 'Bully'. I remember going up to him and seeing a tear roll out of his eye.
"They're the sort of things, especially after the two years we lost, that made that grand final so worth it."
EWK head into 2020 hoping to atone for last year's grand final loss to North Wagga. But four years ago, the pressure was palpable after 2014 ("that Temora team was just ridiculous," Argus says) and 2015.
"We've got Argus Avenue and Lamprey Avenue - they're streets in Gumly - and I've got a lot of family down there. Most of them were at the game. We had a very strong family supporter base," he says.
"I remember seeing my Pop straight after the game. He'd always come and watch the games, him and Nan, perched up in their white bus... they'd start at 9.30 and be there for the whole day."
A PLAN COMES TOGETHER
First, it was a relief not to let those supporters down. But also for players to learn that they did have it in them, after all.
"After losing two, you play the old worst case scenario in your brain and you don't know if you're going to be one of those blokes who go through their career without winning one," says Nathan Scott.
"But everything went to plan in the end. There was talk that a few big names might leave (after 2015) but we all got together in the pre-season and knew we couldn't leave it on that note. So we said one more year and we got the job done."
The arrival of Collingullie star Chris Gordon was a confidence boost. In his four years at the Demons, Gordon had first won two Jim Quinn Medals and then two premierships.
"Funny thing, at a pre-season session when Gordo first come to East Wagga, he came up to me and said he's going to help us win the premiership. He'd come from that winning mentality," Scott recalls.
Scott laughs now about the pre-season exchange. By the end of grand final day though, he was in awe of the co-coach's contribution, after Gordon switched to a half-back-flank to start and delivered a commanding, if subtle, performance.
"He was like a goalkeeper, every time the ball went down there it came back out," Scott says.
Argus explains how: "He's unbelievable mate. And when the weather warms up a bit you see him click up a gear to a complete other level. Just some of the key moments in the game where we might have the ball and momentum's against us, he can just hold it up, slow it down, work out where we're at and take the momentum off the other team. It's stuff like that that you can't teach."
Gordon says he was made to feel welcome by a group that coach Gavin McMahon was able to pick up from disappointment, and get back on track.
"Gav wanted us to move on from both those losses and look forward to the '16 year, which was the smart thing to do really - keep looking forward and hopefully win it.," Gordon says.
"It was a good buzz around the club but. Gav was really good. He's a real tactical coach. He knows his stuff... and he'd keep everything intact."
The coach first orchestrated a finals miracle, convincing Argus to rein in his 'larrikin' antics.
"He asked me if I could get a good night's sleep instead of carrying on until all hours. He knew how much we liked to carry on on weekends. I said I can't promise you anything but I'll definitely give it a shot," Argus chuckles.
The coach then executed a grand final masterstroke.
After the loss of defender Brenton Roberts to injury in the preliminary final win against Coleambally, he brought in a forward, James Hodges. The enigmatic Hodges proved the perfect partner for their spearhead Marc Geppert (who had brought up 100 goals for the home-and-away season by kicking 11 in the final round, also against the Blues). By the end of the grand final, Geppert had kicked 21 goals in three straight wins against Coleambally.
"To have two great forwards..." Argus says. "We had Marc Geppert, one of the best forwards in the Riverina, and James Hodges who when he puts his mind to it, can be up there as well. He's the type of player who can turn the game on its head when he wants to."
He did that day, getting into space early for three goals in the first quarter, while Geppert was on his way to five for the game, and the Hawks looked unbeatable. They also didn't look back.
As a contest, the game was overshadowed by fights, send-offs and suspensions as a now-infamous decider erupted in the second and third quarters. For the Hawks, that drama isn't the big take-out from the game; it's the teammates who shared in a convincing victory, 11.12 (78) to 5.8 (38).
"You go through that team and it was a pretty star-studded line-up. We had the likes of Marc Geppert, Ben Absolum, Chris Gordon, Stu Brierty. Players who had played in various competitions and all come together," Argus says.
Absolum won the medal as best-on-ground, Hodges and Geppert were on song, Brierty made the most of his late call to have one more season travelling back from Sydney, Nick Baggio's breakout season continued through to the grand final and Nick Hull was Nick Hull ... dominant, in his first league-medal-winning season.
"I just think we had a lot of depth," says full-back Tim Smith, who will return to Gumly this year.
"It was just a good close-knit group and playing alongside Gep and Benny and Gordo, it was really enjoyable to sit back and watch them at the top of their game. And Hully, too. It was phenomenal."
Smith was in his first year at EWK and shared in the premiership with brother Stephen, after witnessing the pain of the previous losses.
He says their finals campaign was almost flawless, but the belief was actually built way back in late April at McPherson Oval when the Hawks were down by 28 points at the 25-minute mark of the third quarter.
"Probably one of the better parts of that year, not in the grand final, was a game against North Wagga," Smith says.
"We were down by about 30 points and we come back and beat them... That was one of the better feelings, the point in the year that we knew that if you can get through those games when you're down and out, then you're a shot to go all the way."
Geppert (seven) and Hull (four) kicked all their goals that day. Come the grand final, Absolum and Argus were among the finishers. The skipper kicked his team's 10th goal and started the celebrations.
"We always have a joke because I kicked the one before him and I said, it was already over, your goal was the consolation," Argus says.
Post-game memories are a blur but presentation night, and what their win meant to so many others, will stay with the players for life.
"It was all it was cracked up to be," Scott says.
Argus is itching for a season to get going. He, Gordon, the two Smiths, Scott and Trent Garner are likely to be the only players from 2016 but the club held high hopes.
More than that, it's a desperation for the familiar.
"Oh mate! Just for my own sanity at the moment, it needs to happen," Argus says. "Even just to be able to get out with your mates and a footy. You don't realise how therapeutic it is. You don't even have to say anything, just to have that ball in your hand and not be worrying about your work, or this isolation stuff..."