'You've got to dream': Batley Bulldogs boss Craig Lingard asks for one last big effort from part-timers
Operating on one of the lowest budgets in the second tier, Craig Lingard's part-timers have no right to be in the Million Pound Game on paper.
But Batley are greater than the sum of their parts, as they proved in last week's stunning semi-final win in the backyard of big-spending Featherstone Rovers.
The Bulldogs stand on the brink of Super League, a remarkable achievement for a group of men that have juggled two jobs throughout a gruelling season.
While full-time Leigh have been in Grand Final mode all week, it has been business as usual for Lingard's side.
"We've got some people who are roofers, scaffolders, builders and others who are teachers, estate agents and office workers," Lingard told The Yorkshire Post.
"It's not just the physical side of work; the mental side can be just as draining.
"Leigh are obviously a full-time team and the last time we played them over at their place they met the following morning to do some rehab, have a feed and then played a game of footgolf.
"Our players were getting up at 6, 7 o'clock to do a full day's work. We know we're in a different world but we can't really complain because Leigh have earned the right to do that with what they've done off the field."
The Bulldogs suffered a chastening defeat at Leigh Sports Village in the final game of the regular season earlier this month, shipping 11 tries in a 64-6 rout.
A Leigh outfit boasting the likes of Blake Ferguson and Nene Macdonald won 26 of their 27 games and racked up 1,306 points on their way to League Leaders' Shield success before swatting aside York City Knights in the semi-finals.
Lingard is hoping Leigh's serene progress works against them in the biggest game of the year.
"We're playing probably the best team that has ever been in the Championship so we know the size of the task in front of us," he said.
"But we beat Featherstone who are the second best team in the Championship so who says this can't be done?
"We know it's going to be difficult and we'll have to be 100 per cent on our game.
"We've got to try make them feel uncomfortable because they're used to winning games by half-time. They've not been put under any sort of stress or strain.
"We need to keep it as tight as possible and get to half-time still in the game. We've got to try unsettle them with the things we're good at and take it as deep as possible.
"Leigh's players are far and away better than ours but if we can get together collectively and put the effort in that we showed last week, hopefully we can minimise the star quality they've got."
Batley have reached the Grand Final the hard way after being forced to settle for fifth place at the end of the regular season.
The Bulldogs negotiated an awkward trip to Barrow Raiders in week one of the play-offs to set up the opportunity to upset the applecart at Featherstone.
"Even before the first game, people were saying it was a two-horse race," said Lingard.
"Our aim at the start of the season was to try and get into the play-offs like we did last season. We knew that was going to be a mammoth task for us but we managed to do that.
"We had a bit of a dip in form towards the end of the regular season but managed to turn it around and hit form at the right time coming into the play-offs.
"Hopefully we can maintain that form going into the last game of the season. Regardless of what happens, it's been a fantastic year."
Batley are in familiar territory as the underdogs but a win over the star-studded Centurions in the promotion decider would arguably rank as the club's greatest-ever achievement, certainly in the modern era.
Lingard's men have the chance to join the club's Challenge Cup heroes of 1896-1901 and the 1923-24 Championship winners in the history books.
The Bulldogs boss has allowed himself to daydream about leading the proud West Yorkshire club into Super League.
"I'd be lying if I said it hasn't entered my head," added Lingard.
"In terms of importance, this is probably one of the biggest games in the club's history.
"If we do manage to win the game, the difference in funding probably goes from £130-£140k to £1.5million which is absolutely phenomenal.
"You've got to dream and aim as high as you possibly can however unrealistic that might be."