Melton faces an anxious week as ruckman and star player Ben Archard battles to be fit for next Saturday’’s Ballarat Football League grand final.
Archard is struggling with an ankle injury suffered in the first half of the Bloods’ second-semi-final win over East Point.
While Archard played out the match, his recovery progress since has not been as good as Melton had hoped.
Coach Aaron Tymms said Archard had not trained this week and if Melton had been playing this weekend he almost certainly would not have been able to play.
However, with Archard being arguably Melton’s most valuable player, it is hard to imagine he will not line up at Mars Stadium even if he is not 100 per cent.
Melton will on Saturday have the biggest training session of the two weeks between games.
Tymms said the Bloods had had Tuesday off to freshen up, instead going to the movies to see the football-themed film “The Merger”.
He said they had focused all year on making the club a fun place and nothing had changed with the Bloods’ biggest game in more than decade approaching.
Training resumed on Thursday and after Saturday’s session will follow the regular schedule next week.
Tymms said as far as the players were concerned it was business as usual.
He said the player group was relatively quiet and while obviously determined to make the most of the opportunity it had, was not giving too much away by way emotions.
Tymms and his coaching group will attend Saturday’s preliminary final between East Point and Darley at the City Oval, but he said players were not under any obligation to be at the match.
Meanwhile, East Point and Darley will keep each other guessing until the last minute on the availability of key players.
East Point included Mickitja Rotumah-Onus among emergencies, while Darley did the same with Jake Edwards.
Rotumah-Onus missed the second semi-final after surgery to a broken finger suffered in the qualifying final.
Edwards has missed Darley’s two finals appearances since being assisted from the ground in the last home and away round with a lower-back related issue.
Darley won that game, but East Point was missing Daniel Tung, Joel Ottavi, Jacob Brown and Daniel Semmens – all integral members of the side.
Preliminary final day schedule:
SENIORS: East Point v Darley, 2.15pm
RESERVES: Sunbury v Bacchus Marsh, 11.55am
UNDER-18.5: Sunbury v East Point, 9.55am
EAST POINT v. DARLEY
B: C. Lovig, M. Walsh, L. Dahlenburg
HB: D. Martin, J. Van Meel, D. Tung
C: B. Whittaker, C. Bilney, A. Nestor
HF: C. Quinlan, P. Kodorenko, J. Johnston
F: M. Johnston, B. McDougall, J. Brown
R: J. Ottavi, D. Semmens, L. Thornton
Int: J. Payne, A. Maconachie, J. Taylor, C. Carson
Emg: R. Monument, C. Banwell, M. Rotumah-Onus, T. Clark
In: L. Thornton
Out: T. Clark
B: D. Robson, D. Reid, C. Cullen
HB: J. Zeestraten, R. Ellis, D. Leonard
C: J. Spiteri, S. Kennedy, L. Delahey
HF: M. Hanson, J. Carrick, S. Page
F: B. Graham, H. Inglis, T. Evans
R: A. Kur, J. Ancrum, L. Baker
Int: M. Young, S. Mc Donald, D. Grenfell, H. Scotland
Emg: L. Herring, T. Stone, J. Edwards, A. Azzopardi