NORTH Ringwood believes the time is now to move back up to the Eastern Football League division 2 competition.
After three straight years of division 3 finals campaigns, including a loss in last year's grand final, Saints president Maurice Larsen said his club was primed to make the leap back to division 2.
But first the Saints have to beat Glen Waverley Hawks in the EFL division 3 grand final at East Burwood Reserve this Saturday.
Larsen said the Saints players were much better prepared for this grand final compared to last year.
"This year has been a completely different scenario," he said.
"Last year both our seniors and reserves went into the grand finals undefeated and the seniors had injury problems and people missing from the game.
"This year both sides have had some losses and our seniors are heading into this week with a full-strength side.
"I think the club is on a different train of thought in how we approach it."
The Saints started the 2000s in division 1, but after a few seasons player losses left the club to fall from division 1, eventually landing in division 3.
But with a strong junior club and talented player list, Larsen said he hoped by Saturday night the Saints would be back in division 2, although he was also watchful of the Hawks, who had climbed into the grand final in their first season in division 3 after beating Boronia in the preliminary final on Saturday.
"They are a good side. We watched them on Saturday and we know this grand final won't be an easy game. But we expect to have the edge on them and walk away with the chocolates."
Larsen also paid tribute to the Saints reserves, who have climbed from fifth place into the grand final.
The Saints reserves came back from three-goal deficit to beat Wantirna South in the preliminary final on Saturday.
"They have just had a fantastic year," Larsen said.
"They have lost a few games but turned the negative things turned into positives.
"When you come from fifth you just have a crack and hope to get through.
"Everyone at the club knows what a great thing this grand final is for them.
"It's a good effort and has given the club a great feeling."
EFL division 3 grand final day will be at East Burwood Reserve this Saturday.