STEVIE Dinnell has had anything but an armchair ride with North Ballarat in the Victorian Football League.Having to constantly contend with a series of injuries since graduating from the TAC Cup premiership with Eastern Ranges, the pint-sized Dinnell has battled his way to 47 senior appearances with the Selkirk Roosters in six seasons.Setbacks are always tough to deal with in football.However, having to watch North Ballarat defeat Port Melbourne to claim its first VFL premiership last year was probably one of his more difficult moments in the sport.While time ran out for him to force his way back into the team for that grand final, it is a better scenario this season with Dinnell fighting fit for Friday's night's battle against Northern Bullants at Etihad Stadium after getting over a couple of hamstring strains early in the season and then shoulder trouble."It's great to get an opportunity," Dinnell said.He admitted he thought he might have missed his chance to play in a VFL grand final after last season."You just don't know."Despite experiencing a roller-coaster ride earlier this season, Dinnell said he had always maintained a positive outlook.He said returning in round 16 gave him plenty of time to get back and add to the four senior appearances he had made.After two reserves matches, the opportunity he had been waiting for came when Billy Driscoll was sidelined with a fractured heel."I've had my share of luck, but this time some good luck came my way."I'm excited."I was nervous before the preliminary final and will probably be nervous again," he said.