Ballarat Football League representative head coach Shaun O’Loughlin will have a close eye on the fitness of two of the competition’s most influential players on Saturday.
O’Loughlin will be hoping Bacchus Marsh’s Scott Sherlock and Nathan Pring from Lake Wendouree get through unscathed after having injury issues in the past few weeks.
If fit each is set to line up for the BFL against Goulburn Valley in the AFL Victoria Community Championships at the MCG next Saturday.
Bacchus Marsh has selected Sherlock to face Melton South despite him dislocating a shoulder against North Ballarat City a week ago.
Pring returns for Lakers, which meet Darley in their round four fixture, after missing one week with a quad strain.
Darley’s Steve Kennedy (glute) is the other main injury concern for O’Loughlin and his coaching panel.
The former BFL representative captain has missed two games and has been named as an emergency for Saturday.
O’Loughlin said it was not conditional for selection that Kennedy player Darley this round. He said it was all pivotal on fitness.
Kennedy’s teammate Jake Edwards (hamstring) is so far the only first-choice player ruled out by injury.
O’Loughlin said they had been hopeful to have Edwards available, but he had not had enough recovery time.
O’Loughlin has settled on his final 23 players, but is waiting until next week before announcing it.
“First we have to ensure everyone gets through Saturday.”
The team will have a light training and rehabiltation session at Darley on Sunday, and then full training sessions at Darley on Tuesday and at the City Oval on Thursday, when the captain is expected to be announced.
Although not releasing names, O’Loughlin said the line-up would include a handful of VFL-listed players.
VFL-listed players who play at least one BFL home and away game in the opening four rounds are eligible for selection.
MEANWHILE, Port Melbourne VFL-listed Dylan Conway debuts for Melton South against Bacchus Marsh at Melton Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Panthers joint coach Ash Manning said he was excited to have the Borough premiership player available.
Conway is fit again after off-season surgery.
Manning said Conway had informed Melton South of his availability mid-week and trained with the Panthers on Thursday night.