STEVEN Stroobants and Tom Hams did it tough with the Bendigo Gold this year.
Despite the efforts of Stroobants and Hams, who were two of Bendigo's best players this year, the Gold failed to win a game in the VFL.
However, the pair have the opportunity to end 2013 with a premiership.
Stroobants - the captain of the Gold - and Hams will line up for Stanhope in this Saturday's Kyabram District Football League grand final against Murchison at Tatura.
Stroobants and Hams selected Stanhope as their aligned clubs earlier in the year, with the pair only needing to play three games with the Lions to qualify for the KDFL finals.
While Stroobants has relished the chance to play at VFL level this year, he's also enjoyed the more relaxed environment of a country football club.
"It would be fantastic to get a win on Saturday and finish the season with a grand final victory," said Stroobants, who kicked nine goals in Stanhope's 131-point preliminary final win over Merrigum last week.
"It has been an enjoyable experience at Stanhope... it's a good country town and a good footy club."
Stanhope is coached by Troy Auld, who coached Bridgewater's 2010 and 2011 Loddon Valley Football League flags.
The Murchison side includes former Heathcote star Anthony Mellington, who has kicked 78 goals for the Grasshoppers this year.