First-year coach Adam Kingsley has breathed new life into underdogs Greater Western Sydney.
The Giants will play finals for the first time in three years, turning around from their 16th-position finish last season - their lowest placing since 2014.
GWS midfielder and All-Australian nominee Tom Green says it was Kingsley who kept the group going despite spending 18 consecutive weeks outside of the top eight.
"Kingsley was really strong in his convictions that we can play finals this year, that we should be aiming for that even at the start of the year," Green told AAP.
"He was absolutely certain that if we just got a few things right, we'd be able to turn that season around and it's followed suit.
"The way that he saw it and the confidence that he had - it rubbed off on the playing group."
Kingsley's confidence has also brought out the best in emerging star Kieren Briggs.
Briggs will play in his first final with the Giants after a meteoric rise in the competition.
Joining GWS in 2019, he made his AFL debut in his third season and in four years played a total of nine games.
Since replacing Matt Flynn in round 10 against St Kilda, Briggs has become Kingsley's preferred ruck and has played 14 matches to date in 2023.
The northern Sydney local averaged the most clearances (6.4 per game) out of any ruck during the regular season.
"The opportunity that the coach has given me and the belief that the players have given me, I take a lot of confidence in that," Briggs told AAP.
"Before the season started, no one really gave us a chance.
"If we're honest with ourselves, (the start of the season) wasn't looking great, but we never lost hope.
"Obviously, Leon (Cameron) our past coach did such a good job but Adam's come in and just brought a breath of fresh air.
"We have a really good culture at the club at the moment.
"Win, lose or draw - we're onto the next week."
The Giants' elimination final on Saturday, September 9 at the MCG against the Saints will be the first post-season clash between the two clubs.