PORTLAND has sprung an inspiring elimination final selection shock, picking veteran Daniel Falcone for his first senior game of the season.
The midfielder - part of the Tigers' first Hampden league team in 2013 - will face Warrnambool at Port Fairy's Gardens Oval on Sunday.
Falcone overcame a serious broken leg sustained last year to string six games together in the Tigers' reserves with coach Jarrod Holt excited to welcome his experience to the senior team for its first senior final since joining the competition 10 years ago.
"He is an excellent player. We feel like his fitness is not a question (mark) - he looks after himself really well," Holt said.
"He has looked a level above in the reserves. He was just seeing how he'd go (coming off the broken leg) and wasn't making any commitment one way or another on whether he was going to push for senior footy.
"You know you are going to get high-quality out of him, he uses the ball well and he's super tough when he needs to be as well - all things you'd think would hold him in good stead to play a final."
The Tigers will also bring in the dangerous Connor Peters and reliable Patty Haylock who both missed the final round with minor hamstring concerns.
Midfielder Lochie Huppatz will play, according to Holt.
"Lochie was icing up his hammy after half-time (in round 18) but he is fine," he said. "It was always a plan and precautionary."
Kade Lovell, Jackson Dunlop and Zac Stuchbery will miss the game.
Warrnambool welcomed three experienced forwards and an emerging defender back into its team.
Sam Cowling (knee), Harry Ryan (suspension) and Jed Turland (illness) will add scoring power while Ethan Boyd returns from the NAB League.
Blues coach Ben Parkinson said the inclusions "make us taller and stronger".
Harry McNamara, Charlie Moncrieff, Eddy Gattek and Matt Holt were omitted.
Ex-AFL player Ricky Henderson will watch South Warrnambool's qualifying final against North Warrnambool Eagles at Koroit's Victoria Park on Saturday.
The goal-kicker had surgery on a broken finger on Thursday. It was a different finger to one he hurt earlier in the season.
Roosters coach Mat Battistello said Henderson was injured in the final round against Portland.
"He just got caught up in a jumper - a pretty common footy injury - while he was tackling," he said.
"He thought it was a dislocation but it's got a little break in it. They have fixed it up and all going well it's a one to two-week injury."
Defender Trent Williamson is out with a hamstring injury and defender Isaac Thomas will miss after suffering a corkie at training on Thursday night.
"It happened late last week (against the Tigers) and we're actually pretty optimistic about that one," Battistello said.
"Hopefully it will be a test next week."
South Warrnambool regains captain Liam Youl, Ollie Bridgewater - one of the competition's most improved players - and veteran Nick Thompson.
North Warrnambool Eagles made four changes.
Swingman Joe McKinnon (suspension), utility Billie Smedts (rested), teenager Judah Greene (rested) and Harry Keast (illness), who might have a run-with role, will bolster the Adam Dowie-coached side.
Lachlan Wines, Seb Sheills, Duke Bermingham - the Eagles' round 18 debutants - will return to the under 18s while Jalen Porter missed out too.
Dowie said the Eagles' inclusions were important contributors.
"Judah can play as a leading forward and is as hard as nails," he said.
"He's a difficult match-up because he's good on the ground and strong in the air and Dion (Johnstone) is a little bit the same."
Victoria Park Koroit, Saturday 2pm
South Warrnambool v North Warrnambool Eagles
B: L.Mullen, J.Herrmann, S.Thompson
HB: H.Lee, M.McCluggage, I.Thomas
C: J.Hussey, J.Henderson, B.Beks
HF: S.Beks, L.Youl, A.Stevens
F: M.Irving, D.Weir, J.Dye
R: O.Bridgewater, C.Gallichan, J.Saunders
Int: X.Mitchem, J.Maher, B.Rantall, S.Kelly, N.Thompson
North Warrnambool Eagles
B: J.Johnstone, T.James, T.Batten
HB: L.Wines, B.Jenkinson, A.Wines
C: J.Bermingham, J.Grundy, A.Sinclair
HF: H.Keast, F.Jones, J.McKinnon
F: B.Kellett, D.Johnstone, S.Morter
R: M.Wines, T.Porter, N.Vardy
Int: J.Greene, T.Keast, J.Porter, B.Smedts, B.Mugavin
Gardens Oval Port Fairy, Saturday 2pm
Portland v Warrnambool
B: P.Haylock, P.Procter, N.Haylock
HB: J.Edwards, C.Peters, J.Jenner
C: C.Harvey, L.Goldby, D.Jackson
HF: T.Jennings, M.Curtis, S.Hampshire
F: T.Mitchell, D.Falcone, T.Sharp
R: A.Shepherd, L.Huppatz, B.Malcolm
Int: T.Haylock, H.McIntyre, K.Richardson
B: J.Chittick, A.Lowe, L.Cody
HB: R.Mast, O.Opperman, E.Boyd
C: D.McCorkell, L.Worden, P.Anderson
HF: H. Ryan, S.Cowling, J.Turland
F: T.Ludeman, J.Bell, J.Rowan
R: J.Turland, B.Howard, M.Bidmade
Int: B.Bull,, A.Radley, T.OKeeffe, C.Moncrieff, H.McNamara
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