THERE'S two distinct camps within the Bathurst Panthers under 18s team attempting to win this Sunday's Group 10 grand final on home soil against rivals St Pat's.
On one hand there's the experienced senior corp, some of whom are destined to play Sydney football next year, while on the other there's the younger portion of the team who are enjoying their first taste of finals.
The common factor? A serious level of motivation that's been present from the opening rounds.
It's not often that a defending champion team, even in under 18s, can say they enter the following season with drastically lower expectations.
But that's what happened with the Panthers following their 2018 title, as the club remained uncertain whether the younger crew could muscle up in the new age group.
Consider that uncertainty quashed.
The experienced and younger camps have gelled together beautifully to shoot the Panthers into the decider.
It gives them the chance to become the first back-to-back under 18s winners since Orange Hawks in 2014 and 2015.
Panthers coach John Fearnley is hopeful those players with senior experience can lead the way to victory.
"[Premier league coach] Doug [Hewitt] used a lot of our guys in first grade this year and I think they've brought a lot of that football back to the under 18s side.
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"With the local derby that adds another aspect to it. It would be nice to go to school on Monday and you've got a win to talk about, wouldn't it?"
Panthers and Pat's each picked up a win over each other during the regular season on home turf.
The boys in black ran out 26-8 winners in the opening contest before the Saints hit back in a big way with a 34-12 win in June.
Panthers brought out some big football after half-time to see off Pat's 24-14 in the major semi-final at Wade Park.
The home turf trend is one Panthers will want to continue for one more match at Carrington Park.
Fearnley's hopeful the home support can help drive his team to have a less nervous start to their grand final campaign.
"They're excited to have a grand final back on their home ground," he said.
"St Pat's have been a hot side all through juniors and there's not much between these sides. With grand finals it can often come down to who's able to settle down the fastest.
"Majority of the St Pat's side feature their under 16s from last year, who have always been a really strong side coming through whereas for the younger guys in my side this is their first taste of semi-finals and finals.
"Some of our boys like Nathan Ward and Matty Ellsmore have been in this side for a long time ... and I know a couple of blokes heading away like Noah Griffiths, Brad Fearnley and Mackenzie Atkins will be keen to finish off their junior careers with a win together."
Kick-off in the grand final derby will be 11.45am.