The newest Illawarra Premier League premier is likely to be crowned within the next 24 hours.
Albion Park are in the box seat to take home this year's minor title by Saturday afternoon, despite three rounds remaining the regular season.
The White Eagles have accumulated 47 competition points and require just a draw against Helensburgh this weekend to claim the crown from reigning premiers Wollongong United.
Cringila still remain a mathematical chance of winning the title, and they kick off round 20 action against Corrimal on Friday night. In Saturday's other games, Olympic face Tarrawanna; Wollongong United tackle South Coast United; the Rosellas meet Bulli; and Coniston takes on Port Kembla.
As the rundown to finals continues, we look at every team's chances of playing finals in 2023 and who should start planning for next year.
ALBION PARK (47 POINTS, +36 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
It's been an awesome year for the White Eagles, who only to overcome one final hurdle to claim the minor premiership.
George Antoniou has enjoyed a dream first campaign at the helm, accumulating 15 wins. There have been plenty of great performers right across the board, but particularly in attack, where the likes of Cameron Morgan (14 goals) and Taiga Kitijami (10 goals) have been dominant.
Albion Park only need one positive result - even a draw will do - to wrap up the title.
Last three rounds: v Helensburgh (A), v Coniston (H), v Wollongong United (A)
FINALS VERDICT: Lock 'em in, Eddie.
CRINGILA (38 POINTS, +34 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
It's easy to underestimate the incredible turnaround that Cringila have enjoyed in the past 24 months, going from cellar-dwellers in 2021 to finally breaking through for an elusive finals appearance last year. Now, they incredibly remain an outside chance of winning this season's premiership.
Jorge De Matos has been part of the club's system for years, but stepped into the head coaching role in 2023 with great success. Another key figure has been captain Peter Simonoski, who leads the Premier League's goal-scoring list with 28.
The Lions need to win their three remaining games - and hope other results go their way - to be a chance of sealing the minor title. However, they only need a point to guarantee finals.
Last three rounds: v Corrimal (H), v Port Kembla (A), v Bulli (H).
FINALS VERDICT: Winx-like odds.
OLYMPIC (36 POINTS, +18 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
Last year's IPL grand final winners wrapped up their first piece of silverware in 2023 on Sunday when they claimed the Bampton Cup trophy.
Their attention will now return to the Premier League and it's been another solid campaign for Matt Bailey's men, who have sealed 11 wins so far, despite having a mid-season form slump.
They can't win the minor premiership, however, Olympic will be among the favourites to take home another title by season's end, as they only need a win (at most) to secure finals.
Last three rounds: v Tarrawanna (H), v Wollongong United (H), v Coniston (A).
FINALS VERDICT: All-but signed and sealed.
CONISTON (35 POINTS, +28 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
There's only one word to describe Coniston's campaign this year: roller-coaster.
They burst out of the blocks to win four of their opening five games, before dropping their next three on the trot, which coincided with the sudden departure of head coach Rob Jonovski in May.
Franc Pierro then took over the reins and, while he didn't enjoy initial on-field success, he was able to notch up his first win against Corrimal the following month. Since then, the JJ Kelly Park side hasn't dropped a game and are arguable the league's most in-form team.
They only need a handful of points to guarantee finals.
Last three rounds: v Port Kembla (H), v Albion Park (A), v Wollongong Olympic (H).
FINALS VERDICT: Almost home.
WOLLONGONG UNITED (32 POINTS, +4 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
Despite being only his second season at the helm, coach Billy Tsovolos sets incredibly high expectations for his players, who have 10 wins, two draws and seven losses so far. United do boast a very young squad, with the likes of Jayden Makowski, Bailey Babarovski and Kyah Jovanovski getting plenty of invaluable game time this year.
However, the side isn't guaranteed a finals spot at this stage, and have lost three out of their past five matches. They also face two powerhouse clubs in the remaining three games.
Last three rounds: v South Coast United (H), Wollongong Olympic (A), v Albion Park (H).
FINALS VERDICT: Vulnerable, but likely to do enough.
BULLI (29 POINTS, +22 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
Bulli have been one of the league's more consistent performers in recent history, consistently booking finals appearances since 2020, but they have been a little unpredictable this season.
Julio Miranda's men started slowly, dropping three of their opening four games, before they started to gather steam by mid-season. They have shown glimpses of brilliance - highlighted by a 7-1 drubbing of Olympic - but have also dropped games they should have won, including to Corrimal the following week.
Bulli's standout performer have included the ever-reliable Ben McDonald, who has scored 24 goals. And while they now face an uphill battle to make finals, they boast a superior goal difference over Wollongong United and will be confident of claiming at least two wins in the last three rounds.
Last three rounds: v Bellambi (A), v Helensburgh (H), Cringila (A).
FINALS VERDICT: A genuine chance.
HELENSBURGH (27 POINTS, +3 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
It's been an intriguing first year back in the IPL for the Thistle, who still remain an outside shot of playing finals in 2023.
Back in March, their captain Vaughan Patterson assured the Mercury that they weren't just here to "make up the numbers", and it's a statement that has proved more than true for Andy Paine's men.
Bizarrely, Helensburgh opened their campaign with five straight draws, before finally bucking the trend to beat Coniston 3-2 in April. Since then, the side has gone on to claim six more wins to remain in the hunt for a top-five finish.
However, they are likely going to rue their early-season stalemates with Bellambi and South Coast United.
Last three rounds: v Albion Park (H), v Bulli (A), Port Kembla (H).
FINALS VERDICT: Unlikely, but still in contention.
PORT KEMBLA (27 POINTS, +3 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
Zebras coach Stuart Beedie was "quietly optimistic" about his side's chances in the pre-season, and Port Kembla's young squad has proven why in 2023.
Led by first-time skipper Jordan Nikolovski, the team has quietly gone about its business and picked up positive results along the way to keep itself in the hunt for finals.
Highlights have included 4-4 draws with contenders Albion Park and Cringila, while Port also showed plenty of heart during their 1-0 Bampton Cup final defeat to Olympic last Sunday.
Last three rounds: v Coniston (A), v Cringila (H), v Helensburgh (A).
FINALS VERDICT: It's going to be tough, but they remain a chance.
CORRIMAL (23 POINTS, -21 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
Under the guidance of new co-coaches Phil Matias and Manny Mavridis, Corrimal planted their flag from the outset that this would be a development year for their team. The oldest player in the IPL squad is only in their early 20s.
With this in mind, 2023 can definitely be seen as a pass mark for the Rangers, who have already notched up seven victories (up from two wins in 2022).
Corrimal won't be playing finals this season, however, they would be proud of the growth shown from their youngsters, led by the likes of James and Harrison Anagnostopolous, Zane Wilson and Keegan Matias.
They will be eager to finish their year on a high note, with potential wins on the horizon against South Coast United and Tarrawanna.
Last three rounds: v Cringila (A), v South Coast United (A), v Tarrawanna (H).
FINALS VERDICT: Nope, but still lots to play for this year.
SOUTH COAST UNITED (14 POINTS, -20 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
South Coast United were aggressive in the player market ahead of this season, and it's a move that has paid dividends for Greg Valic's men.
With the likes of Advin Trebincevic and Alex Gaibraith coming on board, SCU have taken huge step forwards in 2023 to get themselves off the foot of the table - a position they were glued to in recent history.
United have accumulated four wins this season, equal to last year, but up on their tally of one in 2020 and 2021. They have also played a more attractive brand of football, with highlights including a shock win over the White Eagles.
While they won't be playing finals, SCU will hope to add more wins to their name by season's end.
Last three rounds: v Wollongong United (A), v Corrimal (H), v Bellambi (A).
FINALS VERDICT: Not this year, but they're improving.
TARRAWANNA (14 POINTS, -26 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
It was hard to know what to expect of the Blueys heading into 2023, and they sure have taken the mantle of being the most unpredictable side this season.
Tarrawanna lost seven of their opening nine games. However, the side showed plenty of mettle mid-campaign, holding Wollongong United and Port Kembla to draws and then later beating Helensburgh.
While the Blueys boast some exciting young talent, it's a disappointing campaign, after they finished just three points away from being finalists in 2022.
They won't claim the wooden spoon, however, Jason Wenig's men can salvage plenty of pride in their final three matches - and even leap-frog SCU on the table.
Last three rounds: v Wollongong Olympic (A), v Bellambi (H), v Corrimal (A).
FINALS VERDICT: Nope, but they will keep fighting.
BELLAMBI (2 POINTS, -81 GOAL DIFFERENCE):
2023 was never going to be easy for the Rosellas, who signalled their intent to play in the District League - however - they remained in the top flight following the unexpected withdrawal of Woonona in the pre-season.
With a restricted budget, coach Steven Dimitrievski was forced to look towards the future this campaign. He succeeded in that regard, however, the side has suffered plenty of heavy losses along the way and are still searching for that elusive first win.
Unfortunately, Bellambi will now be resigned to their second successive wooden spoon. However, it's pleasing to see that the club has already shown faith in Dimitrievski for 2024, where they will return to the DL.
With three rounds remaining, the Rosellas will be hoping to cause a boilover and at least match their 2022 effort of securing one victory.
Last three rounds: v Bulli (H), v Tarrawanna (A), v South Coast United (H).
FINALS VERDICT: It's time to plan for 2024.