NORTH Ballarat might have up to six recruits in its line-up to face Port Melbourne in the opening round of the Victorian Football League season in Ballarat on Saturday night.
North Ballarat Rebels graduate Shane Hutchinson, Adrian Collard, Nick Bye, Adam Jenkins, Mark Bradly and Bruce Cohen are all in line for selection after encouraging pre-season form.
Bradly faces an uphill battle after suffering back spasms in a practice match against Geelong on Sunday.
Recruited from AFL club Melbourne, Bradly has worked hard to get a chronic knee problem right in readiness for the season, only to have a new injury occur.
A fitness test at training tonight will determine whether he can be considered for the Port Melbourne encounter.
Hutchinson is the only player to have stepped up from Rebels this year, following the likes of Jeremy Clayton and now Melbourne player Darren Jolly last season.
Adrian Collard and Adam Jenkins have been picked up from Ballarat league force Sebastopol, while Bye has moved from Geelong and Cohen from Camperdown in the Hampden league.
Jenkins is in his second stint with the club, having returned to the Roosters after spending a year with his home club.
He played 12 senior matches with North Ballarat over the 1998-99 seasons.
Paul McMahon is also a chance to make his senior debut with the Roosters after a year with the club.
Having had his AFL career with the Kangaroos cut short because of knee surgery, McMahon was also luckless on the injury front with the Roosters last season.
Hamstring trouble has been his biggest obstacle, but a solid pre-season has finally given him an opportunity to force his way into the North Ballarat line-up.
Travis Ruyg is also expected to mark his return from long-term injury.
Ruyg, a veteran of 36 senior games, did not play last year, but is looking strong again.
Meanwhile, Mark Kennedy will miss several weeks after injurying an ankle against Geelong on Sunday.
Rover Mark Power is also four to six weeks away from playing after recovering from a broken leg and now ankle surgery.
Good news for the Roosters is that defender Marc Greig, who broke a leg in a preliminary final last year, is expected to play his first game in the reserves on Saturday.