SUCCESS has never eluded Koroit legend Joe McLaren.
But the 41-year-old, a multiple senior premiership player in the Saints' dynasty, hadn't yet tasted glory with best mate Nick Whiting.
The pair were key cogs in Koroit's reserves grand final triumph, helping the Saints crush North Warrnambool Eagles by 21 points.
This bloke here (Nick Whiting) is one of my best mates and to be able to play in a flag with him is really special.Joe McLaren
"It's good to win one when you have guys like Fish (Whiting) and Aaron Moyne who haven't played in a flag at Koroit," McLaren said.
"This bloke here (Whiting) is one of my best mates and to be able to play in a flag with him is really special.
"I spoke to 'Fish' earlier in the season and said I'd love to finish my footy career by playing in a flag with him. To succeed and be able to do it is unbelievable."
Whiting, a former Eagle, paid tribute to McLaren and the Saints' culture of success.
"It's good to join the list of guys that have won a flag at Koroit," he said.
"Joe said he was going to get me one and he's a man of his word. I can't thank him enough."
The triumph was Whiting's first in six seasons at Victoria Park.
The 29-year-old said the "high standards" set by the senior side flowed through to reserves.
Both Whiting and McLaren described the premiership as "just rewards" for the reserve group's willingness to push themselves.
"We're one group and everyone just gets on board. Everyone buys in, and gets on board," Whiting said.
"We're a young group, except for Joe. There's lads who have come out of the under 18s last year that stuck around.
"They could've gone elsewhere but they stuck and I can see them playing senior footy in the near future."
The Saints' fast start set the tone for the triumph.
The Andrew Foster-coached side piled on three majors against the wind in the first term to keep the Eagles at an arm's length.
"We got a very good start and that was important. It's probably where it was won," Foster said.
"We had a very good third quarter where we dropped a few numbers behind the ball and limited their scoring.
"Once we knew we were going in a couple of goals up in the last quarter to the scoring end we probably felt confident then.
"They're a very good team around stoppages and our boys matched them there."
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