Ten weeks ago, East Coast was 5-4 and smarting from a 13-point loss to Old Launcestonians.
A lengthy injury list had piled up and the Swans had lost three of their past four matches.
Enter Ethan Goldfinch.
Arriving as a mid-season recruit from George Town, the tough midfielder was lured to the Swans by the prospect of playing with older brother Shayne, and slotted straight in across half-back and through the middle.
He has played every game since from 13 onwards and Ned Hyland’s men have not lost since, recording eight wins and a draw en route to their second straight grand final.
“Leaving George Town I lost pretty much every game and then I’ve come here and we’ve gone on a bit of a roll which has been good, they’ve welcomed me in which is awesome,” Goldfinch said.
“I’ve been playing in the midfield and swapping to the half-back flank with Pearce (Robinson) our captain, so I’ve just been getting back to basics which has been good.”
The Swans lost two forward pillars after last year’s grand final loss to Lilydale, with Jake Sushames (68 goals last season) joining Ulverstone and Dakota Bannister (34) returning to North Launceston.
Their departures left resident full-forward Nick Child as the sole surviving key target and he has not disappointed, winning the league goalkicking award for the second year running and only once being held to less than two goals.
Child won’t crack three figures like he did last year, but said the Swans’ new-look forward line featuring former Old Scotch premiership forward Michael Murfet, Michael Musicka and Prospect recruit Will Stoltenberg is as dangerous as it has ever been.
“There’s been a good spread this year,” Child said.
“I haven’t had to do all the work with Michael Murfet sharing the load with me, so it’s been good.
“Stolts has been good, he’s been real handy taking clunks every game, he’s a freak.
“It’s just the same (as last year) - I’m just there to do my job - if the boys kick it to me I have to kick the goals, there’s not much else I can do.”
Evandale awaits in Saturday’s grand final, and the Swans will go in confident having beaten the Eagles in their past two fixtures.
Child kicked a combined nine goals in both those games, and will be tough to keep quiet should the Swans give him enough opportunities in front of goal.
“We’re confident - since we played (Old Launcestonians) and lost we’ve been un-bloody-stoppable, so if we can just keep that form into next week we’ll win.”