A long-awaited League Championship crown has always been the target for Wollongong Olympic and coach Rob Birkin.
Since taking over from former boss Wayne Farnsworth three years ago, Birkin has always held lofty ambitions for his team.
Now the club stands just 90 minutes away from fulfilling their biggest goal.
Twelve months after ending a trophy drought of more than two decades with a Bert Bampton Cup triumph, Olympic will attempt to win their first League Championship since 1994. The IPL high flyers will meet ladder leaders Bulli at Balls Paddock on Saturday in a final day stoush which will decide the winner of the region’s top tier.
Only a win will see Olympic lift the silverware. For Birkin, it would be the cherry on top of a stellar 2017.
“It has been a plan since I’ve been there to be a force in this competition and it has been a continuation of what the club wants to do and where they want to be,” he said.
“The club has been in the league for a fair amount of time, and have been relegated in the past, but it is nice to see the position the club is in in the top two or three.”
While Olympic’s journey to become an Illawarra Premier League force again has taken some time, Bulli have been a perennial contender in the region’s top flight.
The northern suburbs club have finished in the top two every season since 2012.
Their last title came in 2014 under former coach Ben Smith, but will look to provide new boss Matt Bailey with his first League Championship with a win on Sunday.
“It would be a really big occasion for the club if we could win the title,” Bailey said.
“We are a very proud club here and have a good side over the course of the past few seasons.
“It is important that the club is successful in all grounds.
“This weekend and possibly taking the League Championship would be massive for the club.”
Bulli will need to break down a Olympic side which has by far the best defence in the competition.
Marshalled by Jake Duczynski and Jack Keating, Olympic have conceded just 11 goals in 21 matches in 2017.
“It is going to be challenging,” Bailey said.
“They are solid and sound at the back and we are very good going forward so I think it sets up a really mouth watering clash.
“Hopefully for the large crowd that comes out, it is a really good game.”
Bulli’s only loss this season came in a scrappy 1-0 loss to Olympic when the two clubs met at PCYC in round 11.
The game will be broadcast live on the Football South Coast Match Centre Facebook page.
In other matches on Sunday, Cringila Lions host Corrimal, Picton face Woonona, Port Kembla host Albion Park White Eagles and Wollongong United meet Tarrawanna.
Kemblawarra Fury travel to South Coast United.
Kemblawarra have already locked up third spot on the ladder.