This year's top four may be all but locked away, but the lure of a second chance in the finals is more than enough to keep Swan Districts motivated, according to rising star Blaine Boekhorst.
East Perth are heavy favourites to finish the season on top of the ladder, leaving Swans, Subiaco and East Fremantle to fight for second spot and the accompanying double chance in the finals.
Two losses to Claremont in the past three weeks have Swans sitting third with five games left, but Boekhorst said they had identified the source of those losses and were committed to fixing it during the run home, starting with their game against Perth at Steel Blue Oval tomorrow.
He said finishing top two would be just reward for a season which few experts saw coming from the black and whites.
"That's a big goal for us at the moment," Boekhorst said.
"Stats don't lie, the last I think 25 years one team has won it out of the top two, so we're looking to secure ourselves in second place and get that double chance.
"That's our goal at the moment, to go out every week and have 22 blokes rock up, get the win and keep the pressure on.
"We've been the underdogs all year and nine out of 10 tipsters tipped us to finish last, so it would be massive for us. Hopefully we can make a point this year."
Boekhorst has been one of the biggest success stories at Swan Districts this season.
The 20-year-old has spent the past three years as a fringe league player but burst out of the blocks during the pre-season, taking his game to a level which earned him selection in the State side earlier this year. His willingness to take on the opposition has made him a crucial part of the midfield.
In his 15 games this season Boekhorst has averaged 21 disposals and more than four marks, a testament to his ability to spread hard and find space.
He has already attracted the interest of several AFL clubs.
Boekhorst said maturing physically had played a part in his evolution, but the mental side was just as important.
He said a breakout performance against East Perth during the pre-season convinced him he was good enough to be a regular league player.
"Against a lot of the AFL boys I went out there and probably played my best game to date. I think it's a big pre-season, getting the running under the belt, but also it's a confidence thing and knowing my own ability to go out there and be the best player I can," he said.
"Our midfield coach Mark Piani, he really got in my head and told me I was good enough and to believe in myself and have the confidence to take the game on.
"From then on I just knew I had the confidence and ability to match it with the best."
I had the confidence and ability to match it with the best. " *Blaine Boekhorst *