SANDHURST coach Brett Fitzpatrick knows first-hand not to under-estimate Castlemaine at Camp Reserve.
Fitzpatrick was the coach of Castlemaine last year when the Magpies defeated BFL top side Strathfieldsaye by 10 points, and lost to South Bendigo - also on top at the time - by one point at Camp Reserve.
After being overlooked in favour of Shane Robertson for the Magpies' coaching job this year, Fitzpatrick will be at the helm of the top-of-the-ladder Dragons at Camp Reserve on Sunday.
Sandhurst is flying at 5-0 and with a percentage of 269.7, while the 1-4 Magpies have kicked just a combined five goals in their past two losses to Eaglehawk and Strathfieldsaye.
On paper, Sunday's clash looms as a mis-match, but the Magpies' competitive efforts against quality opposition at home last year remain fresh in the mind of Fitzpatrick.
"We'll go down there with a bit of caution because there were two times last year Castlemaine played teams at home that were on top of the ladder - one was a win and one was a one-point loss," Fitzpatrick said on Friday.
"On its day, Castlemaine can certainly cause some grief on its home ground.
"Playing on bigger grounds like the QEO, you can really spread your gameplan, but going to somewhere like the smaller Camp Reserve, it's a totally different exercise, so we'll have to make a few amendments to our style this week."
The Dragons' blessed run with injuries continues this week with no change, while the inclusion of Jason Cordy will provide the Magpies with a tall forward target.