MINOR premier Warrnambool is preparing to pluck an ace from its pack when it chases a fifth consecutive grand final appearance in Saturday's second semi-final showdown with Cobden.
The Blues will name VFL young gun Liam Hoy for his first game with the club since the 2009 grand final.
Hoy, a North Ballarat Roosters defender, was part of the VFL's representative team which defeated Tasmania earlier in the season.
The 20-year-old trained with the Blues at a special session last Saturday and has made himself available for Warrnambool's finals campaign after the Roosters missed September action.
Hoy said last night he was excited about rejoining his mates.
"I get back there as many times as I can," Hoy said.
"Most of my best mates still play for Warrnambool and I love getting back there. I'm in touch with them all the time."
Hoy said he was disappointed the Roosters had missed the finals but being part of the Blues' quest for a flag was important.
"Warrnambool will always be my home club," he said.
"I've grown up there and played all my juniors there.
"I can't wait, I'm looking forward to it and playing with some of the blokes I grew up with."
Hoy said he had watched the Blues in "three or four" matches this season during VFL byes and liked what he saw.
"It's a great young side," he said.
Hoy played down his selection in the VFL representative side earlier this year, describing his year as "up and down".
"I thought I was very lucky to make that. I didn't think I deserved to be in there but it was a nice honour."
Coach Scott Carter yesterday said Hoy, who played a full season with the Blues seniors in 2008 as a 16-year-old, would be a handy inclusion.
"He's a Warrnambool boy through and through," he said.
"He loves all the boys and he's very popular. You would welcome someone like him back with open arms."
He is likely to play across half-back but could play in the midfield.
Hoy has made a name for himself as a tough defender in the VFL and is part of the Roosters leadership group.
Hoy's inclusion in the side is likely to be one of three changes the Blues make from their round 18 side that finished the home-and-away season with a 146-point thumping of Port Fairy.
The league's leading goalkicker Jason Rowan, who had been battling a calf and then a quad injury, and dynamic midfielder Damien McCorkell, who had a slight hamstring complaint, were both back to full fitness, Carter said.
He said the week's break after finishing on top had given his players a good opportunity to freshen up for the clash with the Bombers, the form side of the competition, on Saturday at Koroit's Victoria Park.
While the Blues leader is delighted to have the trio available, he now faces a tough night at selection on Thursday deciding who makes way.