HE’S back. Former Koroit champion Jason Mifsud will return to the football fields of the south-west when he makes his debut for Panmure tomorrow.
Bulldogs selectors have named the strong-bodied key forward for their Warrnambool and District league blockbuster against Merrivale at Panmure.
The 40-year-old, who kicked 205 goals for Caramut in 1994 and won a flag with Koroit in 2003, could prove the biggest recruit into the league this season.
His signing with the Bulldogs means coach Simon O’Keefe has an abundance of talls at his disposal — James Keane, Daniel Roache and Tom White among them.
O’Keefe said Mifsud would start at full-forward against the Tigers. Matthew Gleeson or Sean Barnes are his likely opponents.
“We’ll probably play him one-out if we can. The beauty of it is Tom White has been in excellent form and so has Daniel Roache,” O’Keefe said.
“Jase knows he’ll come in as a forward and play his role similar to what the others do.”
Mifsud was one of four inclusions for Panmure with Shaun Griffin, Brady Purcell and Kallan Melican.
Merrivale added Scott Kelly and Karl Dwyer, who are back from injury, along with Lachlan Kelly and Hamish Gurry.
Dylan Lovell, Kyle Dwyer and Rhys Raymond, who could miss the next fortnight with a calf injury, are the omissions.
Dennington will also benefit from the return of key players for its season-defining home clash with Kolora-Noorat.
The Dogs last night added Jacob Morris, Luke Moutray, Chris Vickery, Dustin McCorkell and Jordan Green to the side humbled by Old Collegians last round.
Nick Short is unavailable, Geoff Keane has a groin injury, while Rainey Lebler, Jyles Lebler and Marcus Craig are omitted.
Kolora-Noorat named an unchanged side but could make late adjustments before the first bounce tomorrow.
Ben Lenehan, Nathan Wilson and Joel Cornelissen are welcome returns to the Allansford side which faces a tricky encounter against Nirranda at Timboon.
Lenehan and Cornelissen have recovered from shoulder complaints, while Nathan Wilson has overcome a hamstring strain.
Matt Dwyer is getting married this weekend, which has also ruled out Dave Pullen and Tom Loughnan for the clash.
Nirranda named an unchanged side, although will wait until tomorrow to finalise its line-up.
Russells Creek has lost crafty wingmen Ty Clarke and Allie Clarke, along with Justin Harzmeyer, for its winnable clash against Timboon Demons at Mack Oval.
Patrick O’Brien and Brad Everall are the pick of the inclusions, with selectors making six changes all up.
Timboon Demons will also be much changed. Coach Brendan Hickey, Andrew Powell and Dylan Smith are among six additions.
Sam Newey, Cody Noonan and Alex Lees will miss.
The match represents a major chance for the Kangaroos to break their season duck and for the Demons to move clear of the bottom of the ladder.
Unavailability means East Warrnambool will be without key pair Kevin Moloney and Ash Sumner for their match against Old Collegians at Reid Oval.
The Bombers made six changes all up, offering opportunities to Harley Eddington and Hayden Laird along with key position recruit Karl Brooker.
Old Collegians included Jimmy McKenzie, teenager Darcy Quarrell and Jordan Wallace for Dylan O’Brien, Nathan Wallace and Joe Kenna.
Deakin University will chase its second win of the season against South Rovers at the Pond, with the services of cult figure James Crawford.
Crawford, Will Berryman and Joe Smith were the additions to the side at the expense of Lachlan Hulands, Ash Johnstone and Aiden Bourke.
Captain Julian Claridge returns for South Rovers and will play his 150th match, along with Daniel Pender and Ryan Bunney.
Matt Fry, Tom Hirst and Liam Sheppard make way.
Sheppard has a knee injury which is likely to sideline him for the next six weeks.