INJURY, unavailability and holidays have ravaged the Deakin University ranks as it prepares for a tricky assignment against East Warrnambool tomorrow.
The Sharks will be without coach Trent Anderson, assistant Matt Lenehan and key talls Yarran Curtis and Mitch Hodgson for the match at D. C. Farran Oval.
Defensive post Aiden Bourke and teenage ruckman Jake Tanner will also miss, with the omissions leaving the 10th-versus-11th clash in the balance.
But the news is not all dire at the Pond. Moz Maschek and Liam Turner return while Gus Pomorin will play his first senior match of the season.
“We’re still pretty confident. We’ve got a bit of depth, we’ve given blokes a chance who wouldn’t get a chance if we didn’t have these injuries,” Lenehan said.
East Warrnambool regained goalkicker Tyronne Grayson and teenager Jonah Hughson for the omitted Jesse Cruickshank and Codie Carter.
Jason Mifsud will make a much-anticipated return for Panmure when it takes on Allansford in the match of the round at Allansford Recreation Reserve.
The former Koroit champion, who suffered a hamstring strain in his only match of the season four weeks ago, is one of two inclusions for the Bulldogs.
Playing coach Simon O’Keefe will also return from a quad strain. Payne brothers Michael and Dylan make way.
Allansford added full-forward Justin Nowell to the side but named a five-man bench, opting to wait until tomorrow to finalise its side.
Swingman Michael Sleeman is the big inclusion at Kolora-Noorat for when it hosts Old Collegians at Noorat Recreation Reserve.
Sleeman, who missed the defeat to Merrivale last weekend, and lively forward Scott Judd return for Sam Hasell and Tom Clissold.
Old Collegians lost their own big man in Zac Pickett, who along with Jack Marney is unavailable. But David Lush and Aaron Williams are back.
Key defender Darcy Lewis headlines the omissions at Dennington for when the Dogs host Timboon Demons at Dennington Recreation Reserve.
Lewis and experienced counterparts Dustin McCorkell, Andrew Niklaus and Ben Parkinson will miss due to injury or unavailability.
Ryan McElgunn, who is waiting to learn the severity of an ankle injury, is also out.
But for all the experience lost, most of the inclusions have played seniors. John Vincent, Kurt Smith, Sam Curtis, Jesse Lewis and sub Ben Moor come in.
Timboon Demons lost four-goal hero from last weekend Kris Ward, onballer Ben Newey and backman Andrew Powell among five outs.
Livewire brothers Dylan and Ryan Smith return after being unavailable seven days earlier.
Merrivale is also understrength for its match against South Rovers, with Joe Woonton, Josh Sobey and Claye Cassidy injured and Manny Sandow unavailable.
Defender Mark Stewart, teenage forward Josh Britton and reserves players Dominic Tieppo and Matthew Dowd received call-ups for the match at Walter Oval.
The news was similarly frustrating at South Rovers, which lost Matt Wood to unavailability and Max Croft to a back injury.
But Luke Payne, Jordan Kavanagh and Daniel Clifford return and Darcy Chandler earns a promotion after solid form in the reserves.
And teenager Matthew Hoy gets his chance to impress when Nirranda takes on Russells Creek at Terang Recreation Reserve.
Hoy replaces Jesse Dalton, who suffered concussion against East Warrnambool last weekend and will miss.
Russells Creek regained Cameron Finlayson and Jordan Umbers but lost coach Jay Everall and forward Damian Osborne, among five changes.