Like a host of Tamworth Swans players, Nick Bacon is not scarred by the club's horror years because he wasn't there.
The former rugby union player joined the Swans last season, a new convert to the sport, with the rebounding side narrowly missing out on their first finals berth since 2010.
There was no such heartbreak this season, as the Swans locked down fourth spot and will meet the Nomads in the elimination final in Armidale on Saturday.
At least half of Tamworth's squad for that match joined the club over the last two seasons - spared, consequently, the torment years.
"There's a few of us young blokes coming through, which is always good," Bacon said.
"Obviously there's a couple of old fellas that are still sticking it out. But it's good to see that there's some young blood coming through."
Bacon - a half-back flanker and a midfielder - said the upturn in the Swans' fortunes had been "outstanding". "Pretty much last year you'd have six, eight blokes come to training.
"Just compare it to this year: on Wednesday night [at training] I think we had about 26 blokes there ... [at] training this year, everyone's there - Monday and Wednesday night."
Bacon said the Swans would head to Armidale buoyed by the knowledge they recently beat the Nomads in Armidale, and reinforced by a mindset built on "everyone giving it a go".
"Everyone sort of knows that their spot's on the line if they don't perform," he said.
"Just a really good comeback for a club that was a really good club and obviously had some struggling years, but now it's on the comeback and it's looking good."
Bacon, 22, was a Pirates junior, played First VI at Farrer and Colts at Moree.
After finishing school, he shelved organised sport when he began a plumbing apprenticeship. He joined the Swans in the last year of the apprenticeship.
Now he is a fully fledged plumber, but still very much a student of AFL: "You're always learning. But once you get with the tempo and learn the game [more], it gets a bit easier."