South Rovers under 18s co-captain Jaxen Dalton says his team hasn't just improved its football this season, it has also become closer as a group.
The tight-knit Lions will face Merrivale in a Warrnambool and District league grand final at Reid Oval on Saturday.
Dalton, who lines up at centre half-back, said he was impressed by how his side had come together this season.
"I think it was the way we gelled together and built over the year," he said.
"Our footy didn't just get better, it was our friendships as well."
He said he was looking forward to taking on the Tigers.
"Yeah I'm excited, it doesn't happen very often so it's a good opportunity for the boys," he said.
Co-captain Zac Timms, who plays in the centre, anticipates that Merrivale will come out firing.
"We're expecting them to give us everything they've got and I hope we do the same," he said.
Timms, who took out the under 18s league best and fairest award, said he had enjoyed sharing the captaincy this season.
"It's been unreal, Jacko's been a good help and I hope I've been the same to him," he said.
"We're both pretty vocal on the field."
Dalton said teammate Harry Boyd could provide a bit of X factor on Saturday.
"There's one you'll definitely see," he said with a smile.
"Harry Boyd, he's a bit of a pest.
"If he kicks a goal, you'll know about it."
The Lions finished on top of the ladder while the Tigers have come from fourth to play in the decider.
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