Weston skipper Nathan Morris is unsure if he will play on next year and go past 300 games for the Northern NSW NPL club.
But the stalwart defender or midfielder is certain his squad have the work ethic and desire to play finals football this season after the heartache of narrowly missing the top four in 2019.
The Bears face a crunch game in their push for the play-offs on Saturday against Lambton Jaffas at Weston Park in round 11. Weston are sixth - equal with Jaffas and Azzurri on 14 points but trailing both on goals.
Ahead of the trio is Olympic on 17 points and behind is Maitland (13) and Valentine (11) in what shapes as a six-way battle for the last three places in the finals with three games each to play. Broadmeadow (22) appear safely in the play-offs behind Edgeworth (27).
Last year, Weston finished fifth after 18 rounds on 37 points, one short of the top four finals. This season, the league has reverted to a top-five format and Morris hoped the change would help the Bears return to finals.
"If we can get something out of this weekend, I think it will be in our hands then," Morris said. "If we win the last two against Charlestown and Lakes we should be right but you just don't know, especially after last year.
"Two or three weeks from the end last year I thought we were definitely in the four, but it was so tight ... I can't believe we missed out. We were in the fight for the minor premiership with a couple of weeks to go."
Morris, Robbie Turnbull and Zac Sneddon are the only survivors from the Bears' last finals team, the 2014 squad who went on to lose the grand final to Jaffas.
Since then, the club have collected two wooden spoons before the rise last season under Kew Jaliens. Morris believed the squad, now under Leo Bertos, deserved a shot in the play-offs.
"No matter what, win, lose, draw or flogging, training has always been good," he said. "They always work hard and we kind of deserve to play in a semi-final.
"It's probably the third year of this core group and they are just hanging for it. They just want to play in the big games now.
"The competition is a lot quicker and better now. I think this squad 10 years ago would be in the top four easily, but everyone has improved and the squads are a lot deeper these days.
"At least it's a top-five now. I've thought for the last few years, with the quality of the competition, there's five quality teams there and the top five would be more entertaining."
A member of Weston's 2004 premiership side, Morris has played 287 top-grade games for the club. He believed the league's standard was at an all-time high.
"There's no easy games," he said. "Everyone's fit. In the old days, it didn't matter who you had, you would get results just by being fitter.
"Everyone is organised now and there's no whipping boys, it's just the X-factor player or two, if you have them firing, you do well."
He said Dutchman Jason Tjien-Fooh gave the Bears that X-factor last year and was "a huge loss" this season.
"Every side losses a few but the players we lost were huge," he said.
"We replaced them well. Aaron [Niyonkuru] and Connor [Heydon] are great players but Jason was like nothing I'd seen before in our comp.
"He was relentless. Teams double-teamed him and that gave space to [Liam] Wilson, [Chris] Hurley, who had superb years themselves.
"He was special. I really liked him. At training, everything he brought."