A MORRISH medallist as TAC Cup best and fairest in 2013, Jacob Chisari is a key inclusion to the Bendigo Pioneers team for Saturday’s match against Oakleigh Chargers.
A back injury has kept Chisari, now playing under over-age status, on the sidelines all season.
The Pioneers captain in 2013 and key onballer from South Mildura will be primed for the clash with the ladder-leading Oakleigh.
After a run of away matches, the Pioneers are back home at Epsom-Huntly Reserve.
The Pioneers field a vastly different line-up to the one beaten by Gippsland Power last round.
Many of the Pioneers are in the Bendigo Senior Secondary College team to play in Sunday’s SSV premier league grand final at the MCG.
Under AFL Victoria rules, TAC Cup players cannot play on consecutive days.
Pioneers’ coach David Newett said many first-year players would make their TAC Cup debut against Oakleigh.
“It’s going to be a great challenge, but one they are looking forward to,” Newett said.
“Having Jacob Chisari able to play is a huge plus, but we cannot expect him to dominate in his first hit-out in many months.
“There are a lot of new faces, but we also have the experience of Jordan Mangan, Jaden McGrath, Liam Barrett and Blake Poyser.”
Newett said the Pioneers play at stoppages and rebound from off half-back would be important against a talented Oakleigh team.
The Pioneers and Chargers do battle from 1.30pm.