BULLDOGS defender Clinton Drake epitomises the spirit of South Launceston this season.
An unheralded but consistent performer across half-back each week, his loyalty to the club, his teammates and to coach Mitch Thorp is unquestioned.
Drake, 25, has played 86 senior games with the club after starting his career in the juniors at South.
He is one of a select group of five players including captain Mitch Hills (140 games), Jay Blackberry (92), Shaun James (56) and Jobi Harper (54), who have been with the Bulldogs for the whole of their State League journey since 2009.
"It is a really good feeling getting a little bit of reward now after being through the lean times," he said.
"We just want to go through and get a win on the weekend and make those hard times worth it after what we've been through with this group over the past few years."
Drake expects to slot into his usual defensive role against Burnie and try to create a bit of run and drive off half-back.
He could get the job on Luke Shackleton when the Burnie dynamo moves forward.
"He is a very good player and a very important player for them but I'm up to the challenge and look forward to it if that is a match-up that happens," he said.
Drake said playing in a grand final was unknown territory for him since his last one in under 16s and he expected a few nerves pre-match.
"Being part of a good bunch of blokes has kept me at the club and if we could win the premiership it would mean a lot and be an absolutely great feeling," he said.
"I think it is going to come down to a full, four-quarter effort and probably the fittest side might play out and win the match.
"If we've got the fitness and stick to our structures and play the roles that all the boys can - I think that will be what gets us through."