Darcy Lang looks at the Geelong veterans, listens to their tales and craves what they’ve achieved in the AFL.
The 19-year-old is at the coalface of the next era at the Cats, as the glory of 2007-11 fades and the club try to regenerate as quickly as possible.
Geelong must do everything right for the rest of this season if they are to continue their eight-year run of finals finishes.
Heading into Saturday’s home game against last-placed Brisbane, they are half a game outside eighth spot with six rounds left.
While the short-term focus is to make the finals, Lang admits to dreaming big.
The solid group of players who were a part of those three premierships give him plenty of motivation.
“We still have a lot of blokes who played in that era,” he said.
“The way they speak about it, they can’t help but smile with the success.
“They became close, just because there was a lot of respect to one another and everyone knew what was expected.
“The mateship comes out of that partly, but it’s an exciting time to know that we’re the next wave coming through.
“If we could get back up to the top end of the ladder, that would be great.”
After playing one senior game last year, Lang has played every match this season.
He signed a two-year contract extension earlier this month and unlucky not to have won a Rising Star nomination.
Lang is good mates with fellow half-forward Cory Gregson, who has made an immediate impact in his debut season.
“We’re a bit similar – we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we can have a joke together,” Lang said.
“It’s good, especially in that environment, because it’s pretty full-on at times and you’ve got to have a laugh.”
Gregson is out of the team this week, making way for fellow Cats young gun Nakia Cockatoo.
Geelong premiership player Allen Christensen is back at Simonds Stadium after defecting to Brisbane.