Defender Tom Lonergan is one of just five Geelong players who will be running out on Saturday looking for their first taste of premiership success.
Key forward James Podsiadly, ruckman Trent West and youngsters Allen Christensen and Mitch Duncan are the other four, but none have had a journey as remarkable as Lonergan's .
In just his seventh AFL match in August 2006, Lonergan courageously backed back into a pack and was crunched by Melbourne's Brad Miller.
He was immediately hospitalised and eventually had to be placed in an induced coma to remove his right kidney.
At his own request, the club agreed to delist him and then re-draft him as a rookie in the hopes he could one day return to the football field.
Less than a year later he did just that in the VFL and went on to kick six goals in the Grand Final, which won him the Norm Goss Memorial Medal for the best play on the field.
He made his return to the top ranks in 2008, playing the final 16 games of the season, including the Grand Final loss to Hawthorn, and kicking 36 goals.
He struggled with form the following season and missed the premiership success over St Kilda before reinventing himself as a defender.
Now a key member of the Cats' back six, the 27-year-old was able to reflect on his remarkable journey.
"You don't look at it that way, you sort of break it down, step by step, first of all getting fit again and then back playing senior footy," he said at the Grand Final parade.
"I guess that's what my process was, just breaking it down."
"Obviously we've got to this stage now and it's obviously great, but we've still got some hard work to do tomorrow."
"I'm like any other play that hasn't played in a premiership, burning desire and I'd love to win one, but we've got a lot of hard work to do tomorrow and we'll be going out fully confident ready to go."
Having been through the all build up in 2008, Lonergan knows what to expect, but is still expecting the nerves to set in before the match.
"Pretty good, today it's probably going to set in a bit and tomorrow morning, but so far all good, just taking it all in and really going to enjoy the day," he said.
Also without a premiership, Christensen let his nerves get the better of him two weeks ago when his dinner came up before the Hawthorn match.
But he has since calmed his nerves and is looking forward to getting his first taste of a Grand Final.
"Really excited, good to get out here today and see all the fans, but tomorrow is what it's all about and I'm really looking forward to it," he said.
"I settled down a bit playing against West Coast as well, it's another step up but I'm really looking forward to it."