Just over twelve months ago, Macedon captain James Wright watched on as his side fell short by three points in the first semi final to Riddell.
The loss meant despite finishing second on the Riddell District Football League ladder, the Cats exited the finals in straight sets.
That pain dug deep in the playing group, including the skipper, who only played five games last year due to his career as a fire fighter.
He like his teammates didn’t want to feel like that again.
“I love my footy but sometimes life takes over at times,” he said.
“I could feel the disappointment, but wasn’t able to play last year with the boys.
“I could feel their pain and the drive this season, to really work hard and I tacked onto that. They worked so hard last year and they wanted it again.
“I jumped on with them.”
That pain was forgotten on Sunday, as the Cats tasted premiership glory for the first time since 1976.
The Cats defeated Rupertswood, 11.14 (80)-10.7 (67).
Speaking after the game, Wright said it was a surreal feeling and something he couldn’t believe.
He said the premiership was for everyone who had been involved in the club for the last 40 years.
“It’s incredible and I’m still in shock,” he said.
“We’re all one club, one supporter base.”
During those years, there’s been plenty of heartache, including the club going into recess for a few years in the early 2000s.
Wright, was coming through the juniors at that time, and saw firsthand the efforts to get the club back up and going.
“I’m mates with the people who reformed the clubs,” he said.
“When they started up just 18s [again], I used to come and watch. It’s been a long time coming for everyone. You can tell by the supporter base here today.”
Wright said while he’s the captain in name, it was a real team providing leadership across the season.
“I’ve captain for a few years now, but this year has sort of changed,” he said.
“I was probably like one of 10-11 captains out there and that’s probably what made the difference., “There was leaders all across the ground and I don’t have to say too much now.
“ A team effort definitely.”