That might be the key to Sunday’s Group 4 major semi- final between West Lions and Wee Waa Panthers at Scully Park, West Tamworth.
Both teams have it and both teams will be looking to the “older heads” in their sides to make sure the younger, attacking stars don’t let the pressure of a big grand final-deciding game get the better of them.
Wee Waa hooker David Cruickshank is one of his side’s most experienced players.
“He’s coached a number of the younger blokes as juniors in this side too,” Wee Waa coach Adrian Sunderland said. “They all know him well.
“He’s been one of our best too – hardly missed a game this year.”
It hasn’t been all well for Cruickshank though.
“He’s had a few bad injuries and missed a few big games,” Sunderland said.
“He will play the full 80 for us though and help steer the side around.”
Another big-match player is backrower Kenny Anderson.
He’s also the Panther club president and one player rival West Lions coach Tony La Chiusa has picked in his “Best of the Rest”.
La Chiusa is retiring as first grade coach at West Lions after 16 seasons at the end of the current season.
He has put together a “Best of the West” teams he’s coached in that 16 years for The Leader as well as a “Best of the Rest”.
Those teams will be named next week but include both Kenny Anderson and Brenton Cochrane from the current- day Panthers as well as Lee Stanford, Jamie Lyon and Ben Wilson from previous Panthers teams.
Of the current-day West Lions, Matt Nean, Brendan Hunt, Chris Vidler and Scott Rolls make it into La Chiusa’s top 17 while Nathan Hamlin (Kootingal) and Luke Taylor (Dungowan) also make it into the star-studded lineups.
Hamlin has played this season with the Kootingal Roosters while Taylor is captain-coach of the Dungowan Cowboys.
They both play in a knockout minor semi-final at Kootingal Oval tomorrow.
La Chiusa’s admiration for the Wee Waa players, past and present, is immense.
“Kenny might be getting a little long in the tooth now but he’s still a very good player,” La Chiusa said.
“When he came back from Sydney in the early 2000s he was so strong and such a good worker.
“He did everything right. He was one of those tough competitors.”
Nothing has changed, while Cochrane is one of the most dangerous attacking players La Chiusa has seen anywhere in country football.
“He’s such a damaging player,” La Chiusa said.
So too is Vidler.
“Vids was a raging bull when he first came to us as an 18-year-old,” he said.
“But he’s matured a lot – he’s now a rampaging bull.
“He’s still got the aggression but also got the maturity,” he said.
“He’s been one of our best this year.”
Playing in a number of the grand final wins gives him an added advantage too.
The same can be said for Hunt who might wear number nine but could pop up at first receiver the majority of the time.
Hunt has been a part of all four successive grand final wins and battled back from major injuries such as a knee reconstruction to be a major part of this Lions’ line-up.
Vidler, Hunt and five-eighth Chris Hunt have a truckload of experience in big games and La Chiusa believes that will be a perfect foil to the attacking brilliance of Matt and Sean Nean.