Sebastopol will learn later in the week whether AFL-experienced veteran Brett Goodes will be fit to play in its Ballarat Football League season opener against North Ballarat City at Marty Busch Reserve on Saturday night.
Goodes is recovering from a calf injury
Burra coach Leigh Hutchinson is hopeful of Goodes being available, but no decision will be made on selection before Thursday.
He said Goodes had suffered a low grade strain and it would be the former Western Bulldogs’ call on whether he was available.
“It’ll depend how he feels. He knows his body better than anyone.”
Goodes was restricted to seven games in his second season with Sebastopol last year because of calf trouble.
Unfortunately for the Burra, it will be without dangerous high flying forward Michael Powell, and best and fairest Chase Dummett.
Powell has been sidelined with a broken finger.
Hutchinson said Powell had had surgery to have the finger pinned.
“He’ll miss three to four weeks maximum,” he said.
Powell is Sebastopol’s most dynamic forward and his presence after an injury-riddled 2017 – he played just eight games – is considered a linchpin in Hutchinson’s plans to develop the Burra into a finals contender.
Dummett looks like missing five weeks with ankle trouble.
It is better news for recruit Lachie Cassidy, who has fully recovered from hamstring trouble.
Hutchinson said Cassidy, who strained a hamstring in an early practice match, was a definite starter for the first home and away assignment. “He’s fine.”
Cassidy is one of five Sebastopol recruits from the disbanded North Ballarat Roosters’ VFL list.
He will join Tony Lockyer, James Keeble, Matt Austin and Nick Hausler among what Hutchinson believes will be up to seven new faces in the Burra line-up against North City.
In addition, tall key position youngster Jack McNab is set to play for the first time since 2016. He missed all last season after breaking a leg pre-season.
Hutchinson said there was a lot of excitement and anticpation around the club ahead of the season opener.