RETIRING Queanbeyan Tigers' AFL Canberra division one skipper Neil Irwin says winning the competition would cap his career off on a high note and keep a positive vibe at the club.
His comments came after his men won straight through to their competition's grand final, to be played against either Ainslie or Eastlake at Gungahlin Town Centre Oval next Saturday, after they beat Ainslie 10.15.75 to 10.3.63 in the major semi-final last Saturday.
And on an even better note for the club, their Rising Stars side dispatched Ainslie to move through to their premiership match, while the women's team did the same in beating Molonglo.
The club's under 17s, 13s, 12s and 11s sides will also play in grand final action this weekend.
Ainslie were the closest rivals to Queanbeyan in the AFL Canberra competition, and Irwin said beating them early in the finals series had given his men the confidence to break a title drought that extends back to 2011.
"Ainslie have been our only really competitive games all year...you play your ANU's and ADFA's as well, and to their credit they try really hard, but they just don't have the stocks of Ainslie," said Irwin.
"You know you're always going to be in for a good game against Ainslie. Having said that, they'll be back bigger and stronger, as long as they win this week [preliminary final against Eastlake]."
While Irwin said his men would just be focusing on their own games for the grand final at this stage, he conceded they would expect to play against Ainslie.
But having 12 more scoring shots than Ainslie that missed goal, he said they had some kicking practice to do before the big game.
"We almost kicked ourselves out of the game," said Irwin.
"But it'll be good to go out on a high for the season. I was lucky enough to be apart of the 2012 NEAFL Eastern Conference winning side, but most of the other boys haven't had that success."