Canberra Strikers player Matthew Hotchkis and Garry Backhus celebrate a goal during their Australian Hockey League win over Tasmania.
They've had to overcome complications surrounding player eligibility, they've lost their government funding, but the Canberra Lakers are now just one win away from the Australian Hockey League tournament grand final.
The Lakers will face off against the Queensland Blades on Friday afternoon for the right to take part in the tournament's decider.
A win will guarantee them a spot in the final, while a draw could still be enough if results elsewhere go their way.
It's a remarkable effort by a group of athletes that lost more than $30,000 in funding from the ACT government following an AHL restructure that forced Canberra to lose all its home fixtures this season.
As a result, all of Canberra's players had to pay their own way.
Coach Andrew Deane described the situation as ''grossly unfair''.
''You've got a situation where the government are giving money to professional teams in Canberra that don't necessarily need it, while amateur outfits like us get nothing,'' he said.
''We've got three or four guys who were good enough to be here but couldn't afford to come. They [the ACT government] still find money to pour into AFL teams from a different state, but they pull $60,000 from men's and women's hockey. The whole thing is just ridiculous.''
Despite his frustration, Deane was enthusiastic about the Lakers' chances.
''The guys are playing great hockey and have managed to pull off some sensational results against teams who probably thought they were better than us.''
Deane said all the pressure was on Queensland.
''They've got a lot of international players and they'll be expecting to win,'' he said. ''The only pressure on us is the pressure we put on ourselves.
''I give us every chance of beating them.''
Two Canberra players almost didn't make it to the tournament after Hockey NSW claimed they were ineligible for the ACT side.
Goulburn's Aaron Kershaw and the Sydney-born Troy Sutherland were both overlooked by NSW when it announced its initial squad and put their hands up for selection with the Lakers.
But once they were unveiled as part of the Canberra team, NSW changed their minds.
''The reality is hockey is an amateur sport,'' Deane said.
''There are no contracts, so basically they had no power to do anything. There was a bit of a standoff but we stayed strong and eventually it all blew over.''