CDHBU centreman Jarrod Hanrahan can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It has taken six years but if CDHBU can defeat Howlong at home on Saturday, the Power will clinch its first finals berth since joining the Hume league in 2008.
Lose, and the dream is over for at least another 12 months.
Hanrahan said this was the club’s biggest game since it claimed the final flag in the now-defunct Coreen league in 2007.
“Finals start this weekend for us. It’s been a long time coming, our biggest game since the 2007 grand final,” Hanrahan said.
“If we can win it would be a good reward for everyone who has put in the hard yards to turn things around.
“We will have definitely earned our spot if we can beat Howlong.
“They have got a proud finals record and won’t want to miss out, either.
“But it’s exciting to be alive at this time of year where previously we couldn’t wait for the season to end because we have been getting flogged.”
Hanrahan, 35, coached CDHBU to back-to-back flags in 2006-07.
His present coach Brad Talbot and burly spearhead Doug Lavis are the only premiership players still in action.
The Power vice-president said the transition from the Coreen league to the Hume league had been tougher than expected.
“We lost some players when we came from the Coreen league but we still thought we had a side that would be competitive and play finals,” he said.
“It has been a steep learning curve adjusting to the tempo of the Hume league and what’s required at board level and out on the ground.
“We hit rock bottom in 2010 when we finished with one win and the wooden spoon.
“There was a big question mark even from our own supporters — did we have a future in the Hume league? But we have won some games of footy this season to push for a spot.”
Win, lose or draw on Saturday, Hanrahan felt the club was in a strong position both on and off the field for future success.
The Power’s playing surface and facilities are some of the best in the league after a recent upgrade.
The playing list is all from local talent, bar Jeremy Stevenson who travels from Melbourne.
“We set goals this year and we have already exceeded them as a club,” Hanrahan said.
“We have come from a long way back and these things don’t just happen overnight.
“But both junior grades will play finals and the netball is strong.
“We are good socially and have got plenty of supporters.
“We have now got 10 wins, which we hope is the start to brighter things.”
Hanrahan has provided the Power with a late-season boost after an ankle reconstruction in October last year.
He made his return in the reserves against Culcairn in round 12 and played four matches in the reserves before breaking into the senior line-up for the past two weeks.
The tough and uncompromising midfielder boasts an outstanding playing record.
He was part of Corowa-Rutherglen’s 2000 and 2003 flags and rates David Lucas and Damien Houlihan as his most talented teammates at the Roos.
Hanrahan then took the coaching reins at CDHBU in 2004 and led the club to back-to-back flags in 2006-07 where he labelled Doug Lavis and Mark House as the stand-out players.
He won best and fairests in 2008 and 2010 and has been runner-up three times.
Hanrahan’s father, BJ, played 350 games for Coreen and his grandfather, Jim, played 250 games and was a five-time best and fairest winner.