In the heady days of 1988, Wollongong City stepped into what became their spiritual home at Brandon Park and walked away with the National Soccer League premiers trophy.
It was fairly modest by standards then and particularly now, but it seemed to provide a promising future for the Wolves, led by the club's pioneers like John Vliestra.
In an in-depth piece with the late, great football writer Mike Cockerill, Vliestra summed up the sentiment towards Brandon Park, then just offering a hill built of coal-wash and a basic grandstand.
"We didn't care what it looked like; the main thing was it was ours," he said.
On Sunday, the Wolves will collect their second ever NPL league crown, to sit nicely alongside the championship-winning glory days of 2000 - the famous comeback against Perth to win on penalties - and 2001.
To mark how much the ground has shifted in that time, Brandon Park, is now, quite obviously, the state-of-the-art Innovation Campus, where the University of Wollongong announced a pathway deal with English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year.
Dragging their way back from impending doom, the Wolves have bounced around venues, as well as missing out on the promised land at Lysaghts Oval, now owned by Collegians rugby league club, which gazumped Football South Coast to buy the site for $1.7 million. The Wolves - and Wollongong Olympic - had vacated Brandon Park in 2002 to make way for the innovation campus on the promise they would be provided a new venue.
''If the Wolves had dug their toes in, it would have been a very difficult situation to manage," the former Wollongong City Council general manager Rod Oxley told Cockerill back in 2012.
"They had some legal entitlement. If they had not agreed to vacate, the innovation campus would have been delayed. But the Wolves did agree. They did it for the right reasons, and they did it on the promise they would have got a new home. I guess you could say soccer was the casualty in the process.''
So there will surely be small sense of satisfaction for the Wolves' true believers when they lift the trophy at WIN Stadium on Sunday, the Wollongong NRL base of St George Illawarra.
Dragons officials once regarded the Wolves as "the enemy", given the potential battle for hearts and minds of the general public if the Wolves ever made it to the A-League. They've taken the longest road possible, the Wolves, and almost perished in the searing climate a decade ago, but here they are.
The Wolves helped build the careers of Scott Chipperfield, Mile Sterjovski and Luke Wilkshire.
Now Wilkshire is repaying the favour for the Wolves.
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