MANY of Ray McGillivray's teammates have more bowls flags than they can count on two hands.
The emerging player, in just his second full season of Western District Bowls Division pennant, is hoping to join the premiership club on Saturday.
McGillivray, 64, will play as a third to experienced skipper Paul O'Donnell when Warrnambool Gold tackles Timboon Gold in the division one decider.
The father-of-three and grandfather-of-10 said he had enjoyed a quick ascension to the club's top-ranked team.
"My mate (Paul White) asked me to come down. I'd had a hip operation and said 'I can't even bend down'," he said of his introduction to the club almost four years ago.
"Now I can't get enough. I started in division two last year and was in Blue (the club's second-ranked division one team) at the start of the year and halfway through got elevated.
"I am pretty rapt."
McGillivray is a caravan park manager who splits his time between Geelong and Warrnambool.
He has Fridays and Saturdays off to hit the Timor Street greens.
"It enables me to bowl socially on Fridays and then there's the real game on Saturdays," McGillivray said.
"I will play for as long as I can. My daughter (Casey McGillivray) has joined now and my grandson and granddaughters love it."
McGillivray, who is also dad to Nicole Buck, 37, and Amy McGillivray, 31, said his wife of almost 41 years Sandra was "a good supporter".
Warrnambool Gold - a premiership powerhouse out for redemption after missing the 2019 grand final - will have home-green advantage against Timboon Gold in what shapes as a David-versus-Goliath battle.
"We're not going in with swollen heads, we've got the right people around us to keep us level-headed," McGillivray said.
He said his teammates' support would help ease grand final nerves, emphasising how their knowledge had "helped me succeed".
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