At this rate, North Wagga's 2019 premiership reign could go on as long as the drought that preceded it.
For the second year in a row, COVID-19 has prevented a successor. Saints' premiership-winning coach Kirk Hamblin says they marked the two-year anniversary last week, reminiscing as still the latest champions.
"The boys sent a few messages around and seeing some of the videos, that was pretty cool, I was loving that. It feels good that no-one's taken it away from us yet," Hamblin joked.
It was said in jest. Hamblin would much rather have played finals. Reminded of how much it meant, he feels for teammates particularly in a vastly changed Saints side.
"Personally, I don't feel hard done by because I've been very fortunate in my career...lucky enough to be in some good teams and have some success," he said, (having also won four flags with Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong).
"But I feel sorry for the blokes who are younger in their career and haven't had success or had a taste and want more.
"It's hard for them, it's a bitter pill to swallow at that stage of their career."
The fact North Wagga had its day in the sun helps. If this was 2019, he might've been heartbroken.
Conceding he's "at the tail end" of his career, the former Farrer League player of the year (in 2015) is happy to appreciate any football he plays.
Hamblin loved the season as captain under Cayden Winter, having had four seasons as coach.
He isn't about to rush any big decisions on his future.
"Footy means everything to people. You throw around that you might retire this year or next year or whatever but it's easier said than done because of how much a part footy plays in your life. You think you could let it go until footy season comes around again," he said.
Hamblin is a similar vintage to former East Wagga-Kooringal captain Ben Absolum, who has called time on his playing career.
Like Hamblin, Absolum was philosophical about missing out on finals this season.
EWK coach, Matt Hard, paid tribute to a club champion.
"You come across some outstanding people in football clubs and Ben definitely ticks that box," Hard said.
"He's professional and just an all-round good fella. He leads by example and gives himself every opportunity to succeed. He's really led the way for the East Wagga footy club in my time, and I definitely know he did that prior to me getting there.
"He's had a great career, one he can be very proud of and one that I'm very proud to be associated with.
"When you're trying to build culture and attract good people, it's great having someone like Ben at your club."
After the pair missed a premiership opportunity together against Hamblin's Saints in 2019, the coach rues they didn't get another chance this year.
"We headed to the finals series really confident that we could've given it a good shake," Hard said.
"When Ben came back at the start of the year, I said I just wanted him to enjoy footy, and see him smiling and having fun. He's done that, as well as providing leadership and lift those around him, which it's only natural that players like that do."
In the twists and coincidences of football careers, Hard two senior premierships as a coach were both against Absolum. He played against the emerging talent when leading the Northern Jets to a grand final win against Absolum's Collingullie in 2007, and was (non-playing) coach at Coolamon when they beat the Demons in 2013.
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