Colbinabbin expecting to be at full-strength for HDFNL grad final

COLBINABBIN coach Liz Cobbledick says she is confident she will have a full complement of players available for Saturday’s HDFNL grand final against White Hills at Huntly.

An ankle problem kept Jess Geary sidelined for the Grasshoppers semi-final loss to the Demons, but the star wing attack took the court – albeit briefly - in last Saturday’s preliminary final win against Mount Pleasant.

The Grasshoppers then had their hearts in their mouths when 2017 league medallist Brydie Lawford went down with an ankle injury in the final quarter against the Blues.

But despite a stint on the sidelines, the class defender returned to the court to play the final minutes in the Grasshoppers’ four-goal win.

Cobbledick, who is overseeing Colbinabbin’s bid for a third consecutive premiership, said she saw no reason why both Geary and Lawford would not take their place in the line-up.

“Hopefully it’s a speedy recovery for Brydie, but I don’t think we will be able to keep her away regardless,” she said.

“It should keep improving during the week, but besides those two everyone else got through Saturday unscathed and we are looking forward to it.”

Geary trained with the team on the Friday night before the preliminary final clash and also took part in warm-up on game day.

But as a pre-caution, Cobbledick said she was rested for all but half a quarter.

The Grasshoppers will be playing in a remarkable sixth straight grand final, which includes wins in 2013, ’15 and ’16.

Their sole loss this season came against their grand final rival, by 19 points, in a second semi-final encounter at Lockington a fortnight ago.

The teams have met seven times already in the past two seasons with the Demons holding a 4-3 advantage.

Cobbledick said nothing short of her side’s best would be required to level that ledger on Saturday in what is now their moist important game of all.

“Even though we finished undefeated n top, they would definitely have to be the favourites after their performance in the semi-final,” she said.

“And we will need to be a lot better than we were on Saturday if we are going to match them.”

“We have so many combinations we can put out there, so we’ll be having a good hard think about what’s worked well in the past and what hasn’t.”