The pain of last year is still there for Avenel.
The Swans were minor premiers, but fell short to arch rival Nagambie in an epic grand final at Mooroopna.
Avenel started this season slowly before steering its way through to Saturday’s preliminary final against Violet Town at Tallygaroopna.
It was not pretty last Sunday in the first semi-final against Stanhope, but Don Stirling’s side was able to get the job done with a superb final quarter.
Stirling said last year’s missed opportunity would be used to spur the team on in tough moments.
‘‘We’ve still got that core group here from last year’s grand final loss and we want to get back there to get another opportunity in the grand final,’’ Stirling said.
‘‘Last week shows the character in this group that it was a tight contest all day, but we stood up in that last quarter.
‘‘It wasn’t the usual suspects like Scott Tyers and Michael Morgan getting it done, everyone stepped up and played great footy and never gave in.
‘‘Our second half of the year has been solid and we’ve been up there with Nagambie and Violet Town, so we’ll take some confidence into this game.’’
Avenel has lost both games against Violet Town this season, but has been far from embarassed, losing the matches by a combined total of 28 points.
Full forward Chris Burton missed the game against the Lions and looked to be ruled out for the season.
However, Stirling said Burton was seeing specialists and was doing everything in his power to play in the grand final, should the Swans make it that far.
Mitch Thomas and Cael McCarthy were threatening in the forward 50 against Stanhope and the Swans will be after more goals from them against the Towners.
Preliminary final at Tallygaroopna on Saturday
Seniors: Violet Town v Avenel at 2.05pm
Reserves: Tallygaroopna v Stanhope at 12.05pm
Under-18s: Tallygaroopna v AvenKDFL FINALSel at 10.15am