BACCHUS Marsh coach Cam Richardson insists he will be fit to play in the Cobras’ Ballarat Football League season opener on Friday, despite suffering a finger injury.
The former North Melbourne footballer injured his ring finger in a practice game this year, tearing ligaments off the bone.
The ligaments remain detached on the tip of his finger, but the new coach says it is not serious enough to keep him off the field.
He is booked in to be fitted with a protective cast next month, but does not expect to miss any matches at this point.
Bacchus Marsh opens its 2014 campaign in a special Good Friday clash against reigning premiers North Ballarat City this week, in which the Cobras are almost at full strength.
Young gun Ricky Hawkins, son of 2013 coach and Footscray legend Doug Hawkins, is set to miss out on a senior debut after he was forced to undergo plastic surgery on his finger.
Tom Pridgeon is also likely to be picked for Sandringham in the VFL, meaning he will probably be unavailable to play for the Cobras.
Other than that, Bacchus Marsh has a full 22 to select from.
Richardson said his side was desperate to get out on the field, having sat out the opening round of the season with a bye.
“The boys are just keen to get out there after having the bye,” he said.
“At the same time though, it’s given some of us, myself included, an extra week to get fully fit.”
In his BFL return game, the first since a lone match in 2009 against BFL, Richardson will also come up against the club that steered him towards the elite level.
“It will be sort of weird coming up against my old side.
“They looked after me through the juniors, I have so much respect for them,” he said.
“They’ll put in the work to make my tough, no doubt. It’s going to be a good learning curve for our guys.”
The match between North Ballarat City and Bacchus Marsh is the only BFL match this week, to be played at Eureka Stadium at 2.15pm on Friday.