It's our time: Tigers

SIX years in the making.

The smiles said it all last week after the Tigers escaped with a six-point preliminary final win against Swan Hill. Picture: AARON COOPER

The smiles said it all last week after the Tigers escaped with a six-point preliminary final win against Swan Hill. Picture: AARON COOPER

The blood, sweat, tears and heartbreak from that period all leads up to a handful of hours at the Swan Hill Recreation Reserve today for Woorinen.

The Tigers are returning to the big dance five years after their last appearance, and fittingly, it's against Kerang yet again. Woorinen were comprehensively beaten that day as the Blues secured the first premiership of what would turn into a dynasty, extending the Tigers' wait for a senior flag.

It has been 15 years since Woorinen last tasted sweet success on that one day in September, and president Dean Morpeth believes they are primed for their best premiership tilt since the 2002 flag.

"The expectations this year were that we really should me making the grand final and we felt like we had the team to do it," Morpeth said.

"We feel now that we've been going well, playing finals now for six consecutive seasons and are as well as placed as we have been to take on Kerang."

In the years before their last decider, Woorinen had been on a steady decline before hitting rock bottom in 2011.

The Tigers record worsened every year with seven victories in 2009, three in 2010 before winning just two games and taking the wooden spoon in 2011.

Following the 2011 campaign, at which time Morpeth was treasurer of the club, he said the club decided that changes needed to be made.

"Before 2012, we were pretty ordinary," he said. "We said at the end of 2011 that we needed to make a change.

"We said 'let's make finals for the next decade, make a couple of grand finals and if we can win one premiership, then we'll take that for a decade of football.'

"That was my goal — I wanted to make sure we played finals every season."

Despite being one of the fairytale stories of the season as Woorinen went from cellar dwellers to grand finalists, it was that inexperience that impeded the Tigers from being able to match the Blues on the big day.

Kerang put the game to bed, fittingly, in the premiership quarter with seven goals to two.

Simply, the chance for the Tigers had come too early and they were far from ripe.

"We were fresh and young. We recruited a lot of good footballers but our locals were still young and inexperienced," Morpeth said.

Six years down the track and the Tigers have followed through on Morpeth's goal having not missed the finals since 2011.

Is now their time?

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