AFTER being eliminated by South Belgrave from last year's Eastern Football League finals, The Basin's change rooms were painfully silent.
Tears were shed, good mates barely exchanged a word and a silent bond was born.
That rage, that drive to avoid disappointment, has sat close to the Bears' hearts since that day.
It has been as close to their chests as their red and green jumpers, with the Bears completing an undefeated EFL division 4 season with a 53-point win against South Belgrave in the grand final at Walker Park, Nunawading on Sunday.
But the grand final was hardly a one-way street as the Saints and Bears exchanged leads early in the third term before the Bears took a 22-point lead at the final change.
In the opening seven minutes of the last term the Bears took hold of their long-awaited premiership with five goals in a furious stretch to take the lead to 46 points and give their supporters 15 minutes of jubilation before the siren confirmed the result.
Bears coach Michael Glassborow said the premiership was years in the making.
"We set ourselves to do this last year and we didn't do it," he said.
"It's worth the wait; we waited 12 months, now this is an amazing feeling. It's more relief, mate, more relief now all that work is done and dusted."
Glassborow said the unbeaten season was a piece of history his club would treasure.
Bears forward Andy Cultrera won the Blue Ribbon medal as best on ground, kicking six goals as his side had winners across the board.
Bears midfielder Max Kruger was among the team's best players and said the premiership was a special achievement for the players. Kruger kicked two goals in the final term including a late running goal that kick-started the Bears' celebrations.
"You dream of that stuff as a boy, don't you?" he said. "I've played here since under-9s and we have been working at it [winning a flag] for a while.
"It's grouse to finally win it."
Kruger said he had no doubts the team could match it with division 3 sides in 2013.
"Definitely, Glen Waverley proved that this year when they went up. We will be right next year."
EFL division 4 grand final
The Basin 4.5, 6.5, 11.8, 19.9 (123)
South Belgrave 0.3, 6.3, 8.4, 11.4 (70)
GOALS, The Basin: A Cultrera 6, B Gallichio 4,
A Cowlishaw 3, M Kruger 3, C Christie 2,
J Hensler 1.
South Belgrave: A Bakens 4, L Appleby 2,
T. Hallinan 2, K Jeffreys 1, A Willenberg 1, L Kidd 1.
BEST, The Basin: T Power, B Gallichio, M Kruger,
T Mills, M Callinan, A Cultrera.
South Belgrave: N Stow, D Bilston, E Perry,
A Willenberg, T Burley, A Bakens.