ADAM Kingsley says Greater Western Sydney is far from satisfied with simply surpassing expectations in the first year of his reign and is desperate to seize the moment of a preliminary final.
The Giants could have hardly dreamt of being in the position they find themselves in after sitting at 3-7 through the opening 10 weeks of the season.
But from the halfway point of the year, they have been the equal of any team in the competition, including their Friday night opponent in Collingwood.
And with a sizeable core of their side having experienced the pain of a Grand Final defeat in 2019, the message to make the most of their mammoth date with the Magpies at a packed MCG has been player driven.
"It's been a strong message but more so from Toby (Greene, captain) and his leadership group rather than me," Kingsley said.
"They've been in this position before a couple of times and haven't quite maximised it in the past, so they're desperate to do something about it and maximise the opportunity we have in front of us right now.
"Their preparation would suggest they're extremely keen to do that. We feel like we're in a good space, we're in good form. We'll go out there and try as hard as we can and see where it takes us."
Of great comfort to the Giants in that pursuit of a premiership, along with their remarkable form, is their clean bill of health.
They will go in unchanged for the preliminary final with the only call to be made between Xavier O'Halloran and Nick Haynes over the substitute role.
That means ruckman Kieren Briggs is right to go despite the shoulder injury he suffered against Port Adelaide in their semi-final, but he may need to push through the pain barrier.
"There's a slight question. I think he can (get through). He's very tough, he plays the right way. He was able to play out the last quarter with the injury last week so I expect him to be fine," Kingsley said.
Kingsley and Pies coach Craig McRae, who turns 50 on Friday, worked together as assistants at Richmond.
Their familiarity has Kingsley preparing for an epic encounter that is likely to test the resolve of every player, and their fans.
"It's going to be an armwrestle all game I suspect and we've got to be the harder team for longer," he said.
"We'll be challenged at different times, their crowd will be involved at different times but we're pretty resilient too so we'll bounce back.
"Typically, they've started really well. They're a very good final team, starting well. So, we need to make sure we match them in that aspect of the game and start well ourselves."
There was no echoing of the captain's call to test the returning Nick Daicos out physically, but after his 41-disposal performance against the Giants in the Magpies' big win in round nine, there are plans in place to negate him.
"It's still a little bit uncertain as to where he lines up. We've got our plans around where he could line up," Kingsley said.
"If he's not the best, he's one of the best in the competition, the way that he plays is really dynamic, he's been training for a little while so I don't think he’ll lose that and his teammates give him the ball. If we allow him to, he'll play well.
"Our plan will be to minimise the damage that he causes."
While Kingsley is more than aware of the Magpies' powers, as well as being firm in his belief that his side can beat them, he was happy to apply a little pressure on the home side too.
"Clearly in front of their home crowd there's big expectation there. Our responsibility primarily is on focusing on what we do and trying to make it as hard as possible for them and put them under as much pressure as we can," he said.
"We're not fazed by going interstate, we're not fazed by going to the MCG."
And the Giants have proven in 2023 and most notably in the finals that they're not bothered by heavy crowd support against them, but he was jumping on board injured youngster Cooper Hamilton's message to get on board the GWS bandwagon.
"Absolutely. What did he say, 'We've got seven billion supporters or something?' They're very funny, he does a great job with our media department. I wish he was playing a bit, that'd be handy," Kingsley said.