It's an unfortunate situation that 24 doesn't go into 22 and there's a few other guys that are unlucky to have missed out.- Brayden Harkness
Nirranda has made a "gut-wrenching" selection decision in order to welcome back star forward and assistant coach Nick Couch, with coach Brayden Harkness confirming the Blues will make one change for the Warrnambool and District league grand final.
Luke Irving - who has played 18 senior matches this season - will come out of the side in favour of the VFL premiership forward who has recovered in time from a hamstring injury.
"You put so much trust and faith in these boys for a number of years and when it comes to having to let them down like that it's really hard as a coach," Harkness told The Standard.
"I've had many sleepless nights thinking about it, but we just want to rally around Luke and support him. He's a fantastic footballer and given so much to our football club.
"It was (based off) team balance, we know on a big ground we felt we needed certain other pieces - you throw the magnets around 100 different ways and this is the one that I thought was going to give us the best chance of winning.
"You've got to go with your gut and back your judgement with that - it's an unfortunate situation that 24 doesn't go into 22 and there's a few other guys that are unlucky to have missed out."
The Blues mentor said welcoming back Couch was a massive lifter for the group.
"He's a quality player, he'll play up forward and be super dangerous and hopefully get on the end of a few and kick some goals," he said.
"We've been fortunate enough, even though he hasn't played a lot of footy for us, to have him around at training and around the club.
"Speaking to the playing group, he's a tremendous player, coach and that experience you get on the last Saturday of the year you can't underestimate. His ability to make others around him better is important. It'll make us a better team for having him out there."
Panmure, meanwhile, is preparing to take in an unchanged side into the grand final.
The same team is set to take to the field from the last-gasp preliminary final win against Kolora-Noorat, barring any late injuries.
Coach Chris Bant said he was pleased with how settled the group had been through the finals series.
"It helps being settled, but we'd love to welcome back a star like Nick Couch as well," he said with a chuckle.
"It's good though - it's funny how this time of the year there's no more niggling injuries, no one is going on holiday or anything.
"It's what we wanted obviously - we're happy to go into the grand final unchanged."
*Teams are as supplied by clubs
Nirranda v Panmure
B: L.Weel, B.McCann, J.Paulin
HB: M.Lloyd, B.Harkness, R.Nutting
C: D.Philp, D.Willsher, D.Craven
HF: J.Willsher, J.Stacey, E.Harvey-Cleary
F: D.Lees, J.Lee, J.Spokes
R: R.Holwell, H.Giblin, A.Rosolin
Int: S.Lenehan, N.Couch, M.Primmer
B: T.Wright, N.Keane, B.Cook
HB: T.Mahony, T.Gardiner, Z.Reeves
C: S.Mahony, L.Kew, M.Colbert
HF: W.Pomorin, T.Murnane, J.Moloney
F: C.Bant, L.McLeod, J.Dalton
R: D.Roache, P.Mahony, B.Gedye
Int: B.Purcell, L.Bishop, I.Sinnott
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