When the teams for Saturday night’s BFNL second semi-final were released on the Bendigo Advertiser website on Thursday night the big surprise was Eaglehawk naming full-forward Matt Gretgrix in its squad.
Gretgrix hasn’t played since June 30 after injuring his knee.
He only returned to full training the week before the finals series and didn’t play in the reserves qualifying final last weekend.
As much as Gretgrix has been a champion of the club, it would be a risk for the Hawks to take him into the second semi-final with such a limited preparation.
The Hawks’ forward line has been in hot form in the past month, with their speed, movement and unpredictability a feature.
Strathfieldsaye coach Troy Coates said the Storm were not concerned by Eaglehawk’s selection mind games.
He said the Storm defence has the flexibility to handle all situations.
"Our backline has probably been a little bit under-rated... if you look at the scores we've conceded they've been a pretty tight unit,'' Coates said.
"We have a fair bit of flexibility. Shaun Dwyer and Lachy Ratcliffe can play on the talls or the smalls.
"Dwyer played on (South Bendigo small forward) Kaiden Antoniwicz one week and then (Sandhurst key forward) Dan Connors another week.
"We've got other key defenders who can roll through there like Ben Lester and JD (Jayden Donaldson).
"Lester gives us great flexibility in that we can use him through the midfield.
“If Eaglehawk goes small in their forward line we can use Lester as a midfielder.
"We're prepared for all possibilities. We'll plan around Gretgrix playing, but if he doesn't play we'll be ready for that scenario."
In Grergrix’s absence, Sean Williams has played out of the goal square and has kicked 27 goals in eight games.
The goalkicking output of forwards Cam McGlashan and Riley Saunders has increased in the past eight weeks, while the Borough’s midfield group is also hitting the scoreboard more regularly.