One of the league's most improved players will make his representative debut against Mornington Peninsula Nepean on Saturday.
Tim Hanna arrived from Hay in the Golden Rivers Football League in 2017 and has been rewarded for adapting to the much higher standard.
"It's definitely something I didn't really think about, but I'm happy to be part of it," he said.
"It's hard to explain what the differences are, they're hard in their own way I guess, they're different styles, but it's definitely quicker and more skilled.
"Back there, you just got the ball forward, I can hardly remember what it was like."
Hanna has worked overtime both in the gym and training track to improve, but says his Lavington club has also been a strong influence.
"Just having good mentors around is probably the main thing, there's also good players around who are always willing to help out," he said.
"They've told me just to play to your strengths."
Hanna takes over from one of the best ruckmen the O and M has seen in recent times in former Collingwood VFL big man Lach Howe.
The 22-year-old will oppose Dylan Jones, an athletic big man who covers the ground well.
"Lavington's probably got some of the best centre bounce work in the comp with their ruck and midfield setup," O and M co-coach Jon Henry said.
"Tim competes really hard and we know he will bring effort, he does that every week at Lavington."
At 198cms and 100kgs, Hanna will also have to battle second ruckman Harry Prior, who's impressed in his debut season with Frankston.
Like his opponent, Prior is also strongly built, so Hanna is expected to receive assistance from Matt Dussin.
The O and M captain divided his time between defence and the ruck with Myrtleford last season, but has largely spent his time down back.
However, he's a proven performer in any position, so the visitors will field a wholehearted duo.
Interestingly, MPN believes the O and M will field a big side, with five players 190cm-plus.
Hanna and Dussin join defenders Jamie Anderson and Nathan Cooper, along with forward Aidan Johnson, with MPN expecting the visitors will try and stretch them.
It's been a long time since the O and M was on the verge of making a play for the number one spot, so the players will be pumped to uphold the league's proud tradition.
The O and M will start outsiders though, given the opponents' outstanding defensive unit, the superb midfield and the distance travelled for the game, although the players made the lengthy trek on Friday.
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