Warrnambool will be sweating on the fitness of star forward Sam Cowling as he races against time to overcome injury for Saturday’s clash against Port Fairy.
The key Blue, who was preparing to play his 150th game, injured his hamstring at training on Tuesday night and is in doubt for the crucial encounter against the second-placed Seagulls.
Senior coach Matt O’Brien said Cowling was more likely to miss than play and that he was preparing for two different scenarios.
“We are making plans for if we do have him on the field and also for if he doesn’t happen to get up,” the first-year mentor said.
“We have some other options in Tim O’Keeffe, who we can switch into Sam’s role, and also Harry Ryan, who could provide a positive target for us on our half forward line.”
Cowling, who hasn’t missed a game this season, has kicked 18 goals and been instrumental in the Blues’ three-game winning streak.
He has kicked six goals in his last two matches but his powerful marking has been the talking point.
O’Brien said veteran Andrew McCarthy would also miss on Saturday with a hamstring injury.
He said there was good news for Ben Fleming (illness) and Marty Van Rooy who could return to the Blues’ senior side.
Warrnambool is just two points behind fifth-placed Terang Mortlake and needs to maintain its winning form, having lost its first six games of the season. Cowling’s impressive form has been integral to the Blues’ revival.