Here we go again.

On a bleak Saturday in March, you probably found yourself muttering those four words as the Bombers fell to a crushing 54-point defeat to the Power at Adelaide Oval.

It may have just been round two, but with a winless start, long-term injuries to Dylan Shiel, Jye Caldwell and Sam Draper and the youngest list in the competition, a doomsday scenario was the talk of the football world.

Little did the football world know, however, that this side was made of sterner stuff.

So, five months later, it's a case of 'here we are' rather than 'here we go again' as the Bombers find themselves on the eve of what once seemed the unlikeliest of finals appearances.

Few externally would have predicted it, but within the walls of the NEC Hangar, the belief has been unwavering since day one.

You only need to look back at a speech from Ben Rutten when the squad reassembled after February's snap lockdown.

The new senior coach made his mission crystal clear: build a hardworking, blue-collar side that fans could depend on to give consistent effort.

Just as important as establishing this DNA was another theme he hammered home: 'No ceilings'.

Alluding to Jordan Ridley's rise from a fringe player to Crichton medallist in 2020, Rutten called for more examples like Ridley to take the Bombers forward in a new era - a call that has been answered emphatically.

We've witnessed the rise of Darcy Parish to the competition's elite midfielders, Jake Stringer's career-best form and midfield dominance, Jayden Laverde's emergence as a consistent stopper in defence, Nick Hind and Peter Wright flourishing in new colours and the spark from draftees Nik Cox and Archie Perkins, just to name some.

Through examples like these, solutions have surfaced in a season where challenges have come thick and fast.

There's been key personnel missing for large chunks, the early-season pain of three narrow defeats to sit at 2-6 after round eight, and a whopping 10 interstate games - the most of any Victorian side - with a side that has consistently sat in the bottom three for experience.

Rather than make excuses, Rutten's blue-collar Bombers have banded together and rolled up the sleeves to deliver a memorable season that reaches its biggest pinnacle yet on Sunday.

The eighth-placed Dons enter this finals series as the underdogs, but as they've shown time and time again this season, They Don't Fear. Bring it on.