PANMURE has lost key defender Tim McPherson for its Warrnambool and District preliminary final against Dennington tomorrow.
McPherson (hamstring) was one of three forced changes for the Bulldogs.
Defender David O'Sullivan (quad) and young utility Paddy Mahony (shoulder) are also out injured. McPherson has played 17 matches this season and Mahony 19.
Mahony's season is over, with an AC joint injury and broken nose sidelining him.
"He's had a good season so it's disappointing for him," Panmure coach Simon O'Keefe said.
Experienced campaigner Murray Ellerton and key backman Andrew Edis come into the Bulldogs' lineup, with Ben Mahony, Brandon Cole and Tommy Jones named on an extended bench.
O'Keefe said a decision on the final inclusion would be made tonight.
He said Panmure had the depth to cover injuries and wasn't concerned.
"We have a squad of 28," he said.
"Unfortunately those boys have come out but it gives three other blokes a chance to play in a preliminary final."
O'Keefe said Panmure would go into the clash at Warrnambool's Reid Oval confident despite its second semi-final loss to a skilled and polished Kolora-Noorat outfit.
"You learn more from a loss than a win," he said. "We took some positives out of it.
"We are focused on this week last week is done and dusted."
Dennington has named an unchanged lineup for a second successive week.
Dennington forward Chris Keilar said the Dogs "had nothing to lose" after scraping into the finals on percentage. He said the Dogs were playing with great spirit, having knocked off the more-fancied Merrivale and Allansford in their first two finals.
Keilar said Panmure would be desperate to bounce back.
"They have been the benchmark all year," he said. "It will be a challenge. We haven't beaten them all year.
"They are a very smart and well-drilled side. To beat them we'll have to be at our best."
Panmure has beaten Dennington twice this season.
It recorded a thumping 130-point win in round one.
The scoreline was closer in round 12, with Panmure a 24-point victor.
Keilar said Dennington would use "good old-fashioned Doggie spirit" to help it continue its finals run.
"We've had to fight and 21 blokes have played for each other," he said.
O'Keefe said those wins counted for little now.
"(We're) playing finals footy so that doesn't mean a great deal," he said.
"It all starts again. Intensity, pressure and skill level will be the three things.
"They have a good spread and we have to respect each player and one-on-one beat our opponents."
Both Keilar and O'Keefe said their teams were eager to play on Reid Oval in front of a bumper crowd.
"It's the home of footy," O'Keefe said. "A lot of teams would die to be in a preliminary final.
"This week the best side won't win the best team will."
Kolora-Noorat awaits the winner in the grand final. The Power have won the past three Warrnambool and District league grand finals, including the 2010 decider against Dennington.