TIMBOON is set to welcome back Andrew Hargreaves to its senior side ahead of its opening Warrnambool and District league match against reigning premiers Kolora-Noorat on Saturday.
Hargreaves, who will start on the wing, returns from 12 months on the sidelines after rupturing his ACL last season.
Demons coach Mick Hunt said the veteran had kicked down all the doors in his recovery to be ready for Timboon’s opening game.
“He has been training really well and is looking fitter than I have seen him in six or seven years,” he said.
“He has done everything he can to get back real quick and if everybody took a leaf out of his book as far as the desire to want to play and want to have a bit of success, he is the epitome of that at the moment and he can't wait to be back.”
The Demons will also unearth a debutant with Nathan Gillingham set to play his first senior game for the club.
Injury and availability has forced Dennington to reshuffle its backline ahead of the Dogs’ crucial match against premiership favourite Nirranda.
Billy Keane (dislocated shoulder) and Luke Duncan (unavailable) spots in the Dogs’ back six will be filled by the returning Liam Boyle and Patrick Keane.
Dennington coach Jacob Rhodes said that he was unsure of the amount of time Keane would spend on the sidelines. He said it would depend on how the defender recovered from the injury in the coming weeks.
Nirranda was also forced to make a change in its back six with Ethan Dalton forced out of the side with a foot injury.
Luke Weel and Tobias Lane come into the side for Dalton and Damian Moloney, who is in Queensland to cheer on sister Virginia.
East Warrnambool and South Rovers were also unable to avoid the opening-round injury plague, with the Bombers forced to make two changes and the Lions one. For East, Bernard Whelan (knee) and Aaron Hagan (bruised hip) are forced changes while for South Rovers Ethan Boylan is out with a corked thigh.