Jarrod Croker has watched them come and go. The rise and fall of Todd Carney, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson and Anthony Milford.
The highs of late-season runs to the finals. The lows of sacked players and missing the play-offs.
But the green-eyed country kid has never wavered. He believed the Canberra Raiders would rise again, he just didn't think it would take him more than a decade to have a shot at another grand final.
Back then he was a teenager with big dreams playing in a team stacked with the sort of talent many hoped would guide the Raiders into a new era.
Croker, Dugan, Shaun Fensom, Travis Waddell, Mick Picker and Daniel Vidot were there among others when the Raiders won a thrilling under-20s decider in 2008.
The reminders of that day will be everywhere for Croker when he returns to the same venue to lead the Raiders into their first NRL grand final in 25 years.
Fensom will do a lap of honour as a retiring player. Picker will be sitting in the stands with the white headgear-wearing Croker support crew from Goulburn.
Croker is the last man standing, which is fitting because he's been the Raiders glue through some of their darkest days.
"My memories from back then are a bit hazy," Croker says with a grin. "It was a good party afterwards, but maybe I did take it for granted.
"It's 11 years now. I've got lifelong friends from that team, and that's what we've got now as well.
"People always talk about needing big game experience. But you've got to start somewhere and hopefully this is the start of a few years for us."
Joey Leilua is the only Raider with NRL grand final experience, prompting many to write the Green Machine off before they've even arrived.
Croker is used to that attitude after 256 games of bleeding green for the club he loves.
He was a teenage rookie when Carney was sacked in 2008. He was an emerging leader when Dugan and Ferguson had their contracts torn up in 2013 and had to watch Milford move to Brisbane at the end of 2014.
Croker's hopes of ending Canberra's premiership drought became more and more clouded with every controversy and contract move.
"But I always thought it was possible. I've never thought any different," Croker said.
"All of that sort of stuff [with players being sacked], I was pretty young through that. If you were captain you'd be wondering what was happening.
"I was looking around thinking that I didn't want to go anywhere, I didn't know why others did.
"So it didn't really hit me and I guess that's why I was never weighed down by it.
"I always thought that when players come here, they love it here. I was always confident we could build a strong squad and now we're settled."
Croker's laidback nature has rubbed off on his teammates this week. Instead of being burdened by extra grand final commitments, the Raiders have embraced them.
They haven't tried to hide from the NRL world glaring into their lives, they've welcomed it.
Croker is already the leading try-scorer and point-scorer in Raiders history. He is 29 years old and seeking a contract extension that will almost certainly see him smash Jason Croker's record as the most capped player in the club's history.
But the one thing that has eluded him is team success, which is why he desperately wants to take his opportunity against the Roosters.
"We've defended well all year. I can't see why we can't defend our way to a victory in a grand final," Croker said.
"In the past we've been an attacking side and won high-scoring games. This year we talked about wanting to be the best defensive side in the world. This year has been about pure desire and hunger. We need all that this week."