SATURDAY'S Group Seven Rugby League first grade grand final will be a family affair in more ways than one.
For the Warilla-Lake South Gorillas, it will give brothers Blair and Duke Grant a chance to emulate their dad Troy's premiership glory.
Troy, who is the Gorillas co-coach alongside Neil Farmilo, played first grade for the Cec Glenholmes Oval-based club from 1995 to 2005.
The Grant family patriarch won grand finals in 1995 (12-10 over Nowra) and 1997 (18-16 over Albion Park-Oak Flats) - with the latter being alongside then captain/co-coach Farmilo and under his co-coach and father Les.
"This year is a new generation and I haven't spoken too much to the boys about what it means to win a competition for Warilla - this group is vastly different to the groups I played with in the 90s," Troy, who played in the back-row during those titles, said.
"I can still remember walking into the Warilla Hotel after winning and there was standing room only, as it meant so much to everyone in the community, which a win on Saturday also would.
"It was great to be a part of those teams, especially with my dad being involved, and the boys deserve to feel what it's like to win a premiership for the Gorillas."
Despite coaching both his sons at different times during their careers, 2020 marked the first time all three had teamed up for a full campaign after an ACL injury to Duke ended their chances of playing together in under 18s.
"To get the opportunity to all be together this season has been amazing," Troy, who also lost a grand final to Albion Park-Oak Flats 11-4 in 1998, said.
"Without looking too far forward, to be able to get to a grand final and potentially win a competition alongside them will be super special - nothing could ever take away what that would mean to me and my family."
Troy, whose side has lost to the Lions on both occasions in 2020, admits he is even surprised on how far the boys have progressed this season, which booked their first grand final spot since 2016.
"Obviously at the start of the year, you've got hopes of making it to a grand final but to say we expected to be here, definitely not," Troy said.
"We gradually built towards that goal each and every week and are peaking at the right time.
"With so many young players in the squad, especially the ones who are fresh out of under 18s, were knew we had the potential there - especially as Neil and I have coached most of them previously.
"To see the maturity and development each and every one of them has shown this year has been incredible, as they're a great group of kids.
"If we play to our potential, not fall off tackles and look after the ball, I have no doubt we can get the better of Gerringong on Saturday - as we all know anything short of our best won't be good enough."
While neither Blair nor Duke can remember watching their father play during his Gorillas' years, they've heard numerous stories and know how much a win on Saturday would mean.
"Dad has coached me most of my life and to have the opportunity to do it alongside Duke in first grade at Warilla this year has been brilliant," Blair, who was part of the Gorillas' 2016 side that lost 10-nil to Gerringong in the grand final at the Collegians Sporting Complex, said.
"To cap off this season with a premiership would mean to the world to us all - I couldn't think of anything better.
"The Warilla club means everything to me and my family and to possibly add to that proud history on Saturday, with dad as coach, would be incredible.
"We have a great group of young boys that just want to win for each other, which has been instilled in us from both dad and Neil all season.
"Although we lost to Gerringong two weeks ago, we took plenty of positives from that match and will go into Saturday full of confidence, which we've tried to play with all year."
Duke, who was part of the Gorillas' under 18s premiership in 2019, echoed his older brothers' thoughts.
"This year in itself has been massive for me and something I'd always wanted to do," he said.
"As well as winning it alongside dad and Blair, it would be magical to do it with so many boys I won under 18s with last year. I'm very lucky to have the chance to play in another grand final for Warilla.
"We always had the confidence we had a group that could make some noise this season and it's great everyone's improvement has been rewarded with a spot in the decider."
Tyran Wishart, on the other side of the ledger, will be out to go one better than his father Rod, who lost back-to-back Group Seven finals in 1987 (to Milton-Ulladulla 13-12) and 1988 (to Batemans Bay 19-12).
"It's very special to pull on the Lions' colours and play first grade for the club just like dad did," Tyran, who's only won one junior premiership during his career at the club, said.
"He was at a similar age to me now when he played his first grand final.
"Unfortunately for dad, he never got the chance to win one but I know, if we do win on Saturday, he will be over the moon for us all.
"A premiership would mean the world to our whole family and Gerringong as a community."
If not for COVID-19, Wishart, who lost the 2016 under 18s grand final to Kiama, wouldn't have returned to Michael Cronin Oval in 2020, instead plying his trade in the St George Illawarra Dragons system.
"I'm still pinching myself that I'm about to play a first grade grand final with Gerringong, which is something I've always dreamed about," Tyran, who knows his side will need their slow starts against Warilla on Saturday, said.
"I'm grateful to have had the chance to play with this group, who have made my transition back into the club easy
"It's very exciting and a win on Saturday would be the perfect way to cap off the weird season."
As stoked as the 20-year-old to reach the big dance, his father is just as pumped.
"It's super exciting to have Tyran follow in my footsteps and get the chance to go on better than me," Rod said.
"I can see it winding my mind back on Saturday and reminiscing on all those great times we had - even though we never won.
"Just getting into a grand final is an achievement in itself.
"Even though we lost, the boys and I always reflect on those years and those finals in particular - which I'm sure this current crop will do for years to come, especially if they win."
Saturday marks the fifth time in 11 seasons Gerringong has taken on Warilla in a decider, as the Lions chase a record 20th premiership.
"It would be incredible to see Gerringong get up and they've played a really exciting brand of footy all season and deserve to be where they are," Rod said.
"The attitude from the top with Mick [Cronin] all the way down to the players is what I love about the club and is a large part of why they've been so successful over the past decade or so.
"If they can find that extra five or 10 per cent, I have complete faith they can finish off the season on a high."
One similarity between Rod and Tyran's eras is coach Cronin, who coached at the club from 1987-1989 before leaving for Parramatta - who he led for 88 matches between 1990 and 1993.
After a 15-year hiatus, Cronin returned as Lions coach in 2009 and hasn't left his post since.
"Mick's been coaching for a long time and he's a real stalwart here at Gerringong," Rod said.
"He's done heaps for the club over the years to get it to where it is and has been lucky to have plenty of good people working with him.
"He's a big part of the standards they set here at Gerringong and it's not too often you and your son get a chance to be coached by a legend like him - so that element if quite special."
Rod, who went to play 177 games for the Steelers/Dragons following the 1998 Group Seven season, hopes his son can use this season as a springboard to achieving higher honours as he did.
"I enjoy the way Tyran plays the game," Rod, who played 17 games for Australia, said.
"He works hard off the field and deserves everything he gets - I really hope he gets a grand final.
"Tyran obviously wants to go onto bigger and better things with his rugby league career, as any ambitious young player does.
"Although he had his eyes set on playing with the Dragons this year, considering everything that's happened, his season back at Gerringong couldn't have worked out any more perfect.
"I'm sure he'll look back on this season later on life and remember it as one of his best.
"Then once this season is done, I have complete faith he can achieve anything he sets his mind to in rugby league."
The grand final at Centenary Field kicks off at 4pm on Saturday.