VFL-listed players make up the backbone of the Ballarat Football League squad to face Hampden in the AFL Victoria Community Championships at Mars Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Chris Stuhldreier also has a band of players with past VFL experience among 26 still in the running for his final line-up to be named on Thursday after a short trainiong run at the City Oval.
Nick Stuhdldreier (Bacchus Marsh), Jacob Brown (East Point), Jake McQueen (East Point), Arthur Armstrong (Lake Wendouree), Scott Carlin (Lake Wendouree), Liam Carter (Melton), Lachie Watkins (Melton South) and Lachlan McLean (Redan) makes up the active VFL players in the squad.
Stuhldreier said he was pleased with the way the squad had come together.
He said obviously there were players who he would have liked to have the services of but had been ruled out owing to injury and unavailability.
He estimated up to 10 players had been unable to be selected owing to existing injuries or having had interrupted seasons because of injury and not carrying enough matchj fitness to play.
Stuhldreier said he had been involved in enough inter-league campaigns back in his playing days to know that all coaches had issues getting these squads together early in the phase.
He said while never ideal, it was the outcome which counted and he had no doubt he had a committed group eager to showcase their talent and the BFL on the big stage.
"They all genuinely want to be out there."
Stuhldreier said he had a largely young squad - the bulk were in the 21- to 24-year age bracket - with many, particular on VFL lists, still making their way in their football careers and harbouring ambitions to play at the highest level.
He said importantly Ballarat would be fielding a balanced side.
"Too often the best players are selected and the majority are midfielders.
"We've been specific. Backs are backs, mids are mids and forwards are forwards."
Stuhldreier said while there was plenty of youth, there would be no shortage of leadership via the likes of Redan's Lachie George, Melton's Shaun Campbell, Jake Owen from Bacchus Marsh Grant Valles (Sunbury) and Braedan Kight (Melton).
George and Owen have VFL experience, while Campbell has joined Melton this year after a coaching career.
The BFL captain will be annnounced on Thursday night.
BALLARAT: Marcus Powling
BACCHUS MARSH: Ryley Stuhldreier, Nick Stuhdldreier (Werribee VFL), Jake Owen, Aaron Willitts
EAST POINT: Jacob Brown (Essendon VFL), Jordan Johnston, Jake McQueen (Essendon VFL), Mickitja Rotumah-Onus
LAKE WENDOUREE: Arthur Armstrong (Northern Blues VFL), Scott Carlin (Werribee VFL)
MELTON: Ryan Carter, Liam Carter (Williamstown VFL), Braedan Kight, Shaun Campbell, Billy Crofts
MELTON SOUTH: Lachie Watkins (Coburg VFL)
NORTH BALLARAT: Ben Simpson, Daniel Jones,
REDAN: Lachie George, Lachlan McLean (North Melbourne VFL)
SUNBURY: Grant Valles, Jayden Eales, Mitch Conn, Lachie Bramble, Jack Landt
Saturday's football and netball schedule:
Senior football: Ballarat v Hampden, 1.30pm
Under-19 football: BFL East v BFL West, 11am
Senior netball: Ballarat v Hampden, 1.30pm
Plans for an under-age netball game fell over after the BFL was unable to find a team to play against.
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