THERE was once a time when the fight almost became too much for North Ballarat City.
Getting thrashed in the Bendigo Football League, not allowed to compete in the Ballarat Football league, times were tough.
The black and white almost gave up, at one stage holding a vote as to whether they would try and merge with neighbours Lake Wendouree.
But the powers at the black and white held firm and six years later, the Northies are in a BFL grand final.
Club president Stephen Darbin took over the top role at the club in 2010, but said it was the work of his predecessors that made the club what it was today.
Darbin paid testament to former president Paul Leahy and secretary Terry Hay who steered the club through its tough times.
“It means so much to the everyone who has worked so hard to get the club where it is today. In many ways I’ve had an easier ride, we were already on the way up when I took over,” he said.
“At times it didn’t look like we were going to see it through, but they held tough.
“Our juniors didn’t want to play with the club, but that all changed when Robbie (Waters) came along. He had an immediate impact.”
After two years of falling short in the finals series under the watch of Waters, North City now has one hand on premiership glory, with just Sunbury standing in its way.
Darbin said although the ultimate prize today would be a just reward for all the effort that had been put in, the club had still established itself as a force for years to come, regardless of the result.
“Whatever happens, we’ve established that we’re here to stay,” Darbin said.
“Our world won’t crumble. We haven’t gone in for the quick fix.”