Some would call it baby steps ... Maitland Saints call it progress. And what's more, they say they're bang on schedule.
A few seasons back after the team was promoted to the top level AFL Black Diamond Cup, the Saints decided to take a long term approach to the challenge ahead.
To cope with the massive step up in class after they'd won the lower division premiership, they opted for a youth policy, blooding young players.
"We set a goal for 2025 to be challenging for the flag," club chairman Duane Roy said. "And I reckon we're on target for that."
It was brave and meant very few wins and some almighty hidings, 150-plus blowouts. Kids against men.
Then, two seasons back - before COVID meant the 2020 season was abandoned altogether - they managed to spring the odd upset but a modest record of five wins and 13 losses. They would take pleasure from the fact that teams who smashed them the previous season were now only winning by a handful of goals.
"Mid table is probably the aim," club chairman Duane Roy said. "I would say making the playoffs is still a touch unrealistic, but middle to upper middle. The top sides like Terrigal and Cardiff are still a way off yet."
The Saints held their first intra club match this week and they were delighted with the roll-up.
"We fielded two full teams plus nine reserves, so what's that ... 45 players. Considering we're still a couple of months away from the season proper, we're delighted with the roll-up."
To give you an example of how successful the youth policy has been, Roy said there will be "eight or nine" players in the first team squad under the age of 21.
And such is the depth of the under 17s, that five players have been in the Swans under 17 academy either last season or this season.
"There are some really elite players there. We will have under 17 players in the top grade this season. But we've introduced a club policy that they can't play more than five games in first in the season.
"We have to be careful. They don't have the body for it. You get a fast, young, talented kid running rings around an older bloke and he'll slow them down all right. But yes, there's a lot of seriously talented kids coming through."
Roy singled out a couple of players he was excited by heading into the season.
"Sam Jordan was an elite junior runner who's lightning fast and now in his second year of seniors," he said. "He'll be on the wing or play off half back.
"And we have a good young ruckman in Tommy Grimmer. He's about six-four, has really built up a lot over the last 12 months. I was surprised at how big he was at the intra club match. I think he's in for a big season."
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