LAKE Wendouree is set to inject some much-needed firepower ahead of its first Ballarat Football League final for three years.
The Lakers will most likely welcome back four key players for their elimination final against Darley, having been demolished by 97 points at the hands of Sunbury last week.
Coach Gavin Webb will come back into the side after recovering from concussion, with Ash Simpson also likely to return from North Ballarat Roosters duties. Hugh Herben, who played all 15 games of the season before missing with an ankle injury last week, and Andrew Casey are also expected to come back into the senior fold.
Webb said the inclusions were crucial for his side, which was buzzing ahead of its first final since 2011.
“Externally I don’t think anyone thought we would make the finals and they thought we would finish ninth, where we did the last two years,” he told a BFL finals conference on Wednesday.
“For most of the guys it will be their first final so it’s pretty exciting for the whole club.
“We only have four guys that were around in 2010 (the Lakers’ first premiership) so it’s new to everyone.”
Going in as the underdog against the Devils, especially with the match being played at Darley Park, the Lakers had nothing to lose, he said.
“We’re not going just to roll over on Saturday and say ‘yeah we’ve had a good year, well done’,” he said.
“We know our best is good enough to win a final.”
For Darley, assistant coach Paul Houston said his side was relishing the opportunity to play for a possible double chance, should Sunbury beat Ballarat.
“We truly and firmly believe we are capable of making the grand final, but so should the other five sides left in the competition,” he said.
The Devils are also set to welcome back Rhys Ellis and possibly big man Scott McAllester, should he pass a fitness test.
Houston said there was a possibility veteran ruckman Travis Stephenson could play just his second game for the year, having played his 350th match for the club last week.
The match will be played at Darley Park at 2.15pm on Sunday.