GORDON will give influential tall Luke Gunnell until tonight to prove his fitness for the Eagles’ return to the Central Highlands Football League finals series.
The ruck/forward continues in his recovery from a shoulder injury, sustained last week in a serious car accident that kept him sidelined for the round 17 loss to Buninyong.
He remains in a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s elimination final against reigning premier Daylesford at Waubra.
Gordon coach Corey Grills said a decision on Gunnell’s spot in the team would be made at training tonight.
“He didn’t train Tuesday so I’ll have to see him train,” Grills told The Courier before yesterday’s team meeting.
“Probably, more than likely, we will play him.”
Grills said Gunnell was an important part of the senior group, which is preparing for just its second finals campaign since 1992.
“He doesn’t kick big bags, but we know the effort he is going to put in and the presence around the ground. In finals, that’s what you want,” Grills said.
“He’s a very good leader and just his presence is a key factor.”
Gunnell was last night named as one of the inclusions into the senior side.
Grills has also recovered from a three-week hamstring injury and will take his place in the Gordon outfit this weekend.
Sunday will be a big day for the club, with the Eagles to field senior and reserves teams in the finals for the first time since 1990.
The Eagles’ reserves secured a spot in the top eight with a final-round victory over second-placed Buninyong and take on Newlyn in a knockout encounter.
Meanwhile, undefeated minor premier Buninyong has named influential midfielder Jarrod Morgan for tomorrow’s qualifying final against Hepburn.
Morgan has missed the past three games with a serious knee injury.
For all the finals teams and news, see today’s First Bounce liftout.