BATHURST Giants will write another significant chapter into their short history when they welcome the Dubbo Demons to George Park 1 for the Central West AFL senior men's minor semi-final this Saturday.
Giants' barnstorming run to the finals, in which they won five of their last six matches, ensured they would keep hosting rights for the knockout match over the chasing Demons.
This is the second season in a row where the Giants have earned hosting rights for the minor semi-final, which means many players among their ranks will be used to the pressure of the knockout situation.
On that occasion last year the Giants took down their cross-city rivals Bathurst Bushrangers to advance to the preliminary final.
Now they're ready to make history repeat against a new opponent.
Giants coach Mark Kennedy is hoping for a great atmosphere around the George Park 1 boundary.
"It's a really good thing for the club to host a semi-final. We've had a lot of volunteers put their hand up to help us on the day," he said.
"We've gotten better and better over the years. We've earned the right to host a finals game and it would be great to get support from the local community."
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The strong run to the finals for Giants makes them a serious title contender.
They knocked over the Orange Tigers on the way and narrowly went down to minor premiership Bathurst Bushrangers Rebels.
Kennedy believes the secret to the run can be summed up in one word: Consistency.
"Whatever team we've had on the ground, we've always been consistent with our game plan and that makes me really pleased to see as a coach. They've all bought into it and know the philosophy around the coaching style," he said.
"Having Shane Broes helped me out this year has been great. He's a great asset.
"It's about making sure we continue to do the little things right and the bigger things will look after themselves."
You throw out all the previous games going into finals.Mark Kennedy
Kennedy said the call of finals always injects another level of enthusiasm into the squad.
"There were some really positive vibes around training. It's a bit different when this time of the year rolls around," he said.
"Dubbo will throw everything at us because there's no next week for the loser. It should be a great game of football because I think the sides are fairly even."
That's evident in the even head-to-head this season between the clubs.
On both occasions the home side came away with the victory.
Such a statistic bodes well for this Saturday's game but, as that cliche goes, finals is a different ball game.
"You throw out all the previous games going into finals. You just play what's in front of you," Kennedy said.
First bounce is at 2.30pm.