HOURS and hours of travel eventually got the better of Segifili Asa Leausa and Fergus O'Connor last season.
The Wonthaggi Power teammates, who lobbed in Ballarat for their first year of university, had travelled
back to their home town to play football every weekend.
After a year on the road, the pair was desperate for a change. And it was Hepburn that came calling.
"We were just talking to a guy last year who had trained with Hepburn and said they seemed like a good club," O'Connor recalled.
"I was speaking to him at the end of last year because we were looking for a club to play with because
we were getting sick of travelling three hours home.
"He messaged the president and told him we were looking for a place to play."
From there, the rest is history.
Both boys are studying a Bachelor of Education at the University of Ballarat, with Asa Leausa majoring
in physical education.
The two share a house with other friends in Mt Helen, and while living the typical student lifestyle,
they have focused heavily on their football endeavours.
Both have played every senior game this season, forming an integral part of the Burras' defensive line
for much of the campaign.
O'Connor, a multiple junior premiership player with the Power in the Gippsland league, said the Hepburn
Football Club had welcomed him with open arms.
"From the playing group through to the committee, and the supporters and everyone are really generous,"
the 21-year-old said.
"Everyone is looking to help and they all want success so it's a good club to be around."
Asa Leausa, who has played in both junior and senior flags with the Power, has also enjoyed his debut
year in the Central Highlands competition.
"Compared to the Gippsland league (the standard) is probably a little bit of a step below, but in saying
that, this league has had some of the better footballers that I've seen," he said.
"There has been more high-profile players, but more just the quality of footballers. There's really
evasive onballers and big forwards that can take strong marks like Lee Cox.
"Just maybe the consistency drops off a fair bit after the top six."
The 22-year-old said the playing group had quickly refocused following the shock mid-season departure of
coach Troy Auld, and believed it had the ability to go all the way in 2012.
"As a group, (Auld's exit) maybe held us together that little bit more and we just put our heads down.
We knew what we had to do. We just wanted to keep on playing football and let the committee and all that
worry about what happens," he said.
"The playing group is pretty confident that if we play within ourselves and play as a team, we're
quietly confident that we can do anything on the day."