Greater Western Sydney veteran Heath Shaw insists his AFL side's premiership window remains open as they prepare to face a rampaging Richmond for the first time since last year's preliminary final.
The Giants, boosted by the return of star forward Toby Greene, will arguably have no better stage to make a statement about their premiership credentials than Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.
Reigning premiers Richmond have gone from strength to strength since defeating GWS in their 2017 preliminary final and are in the box seat to capture the minor premiership and go back-to-back.
GWS, regarded as flag favourites by some judges during the off-season, sit 10th on the ladder.
A month-long losing streak that threatened to plunge the Sydney club into crisis is a distant memory but those defeats mean their finals hopes are precariously placed.
It's in sharp contrast with the previous two seasons, when the Giants fell one win short of reaching the grand final.
Some pundits have declared the GWS golden era to be over before it started, arguing they're back in the pack and coming to grips with the end-of-list and draft concessions.
"I find that an amazing comment - 'They're past their best, the premiership window is shut'," Shaw said.
"Guys who are 32 like myself might be past their best but there's not many of us.
"When we build that consistency ... then the sky is the limit.
"But we've got to put ourselves in a position to play finals first."
Co-captain Callan Ward regards the Tigers as the best team in the competition, noting his teammates must work incredibly hard to counteract the pressure they'll be under.
"We know we have the belief and confidence that if we turn up and play the sort of football we'd like to play, we can beat anybody," Ward said.
Ward admitted the club's miserable May tested himself and every leader at the club, suggesting coach Leon Cameron's no-nonsense feedback was pivotal in helping them turn the corner.
Ward was one of the Giants' best in their previous clash with Richmond but still suffered the fourth preliminary-final defeat of his career.
"I don't think you can dwell on it too much," he said.
"But at the same time it's important to have in the back of your mind, that we couldn't quite get there because of Richmond."