COLBINABBIN will be gunning for its first premiership since 2008 as it makes a long-awaited return to the Heathcote District league grand final stage.
The Grasshoppers will take on North Bendigo for the flag at Huntly on Saturday.
Colbinabbin ended the home and away season third on the ladder, but was the first team through to the grand final after a pair of impressive wins over Lockington-Bamawm United in the qualifying final (29 points) and North Bendigo in the second semi-final (26 points).
Under new coach Julian Bull, the Grasshoppers recruited strongly in the off-season and with it came increased expectations off the back of reaching the preliminary final last year.
Two of the Grasshoppers' most consistent performers have been a pair of their recruits in Todd Bryant and Ben Southam.
Bryant has had a brilliant finals series through the midfield and was particularly crucial in igniting the Grasshoppers from their sluggish start in the qualifying final, while Southam is all class and was prolific in the second semi-final win over the Bulldogs a fortnight ago.
Also new to the Grasshoppers - who have won 12 senior flags - has been former Richmond player Daniel Connors, who has been restricted to just five games, but kicked 20 goals - including 10 in his two finals.
The mix of hamstring/calf/hip problems that Connors has endured has mirrored the season for Colbinabbin, who have had to battle through plenty of injury setbacks that started on Good Friday when key forward Ryan Hon required surgery on an injured foot.
While it has been 11 years since the club won its last premiership - a 22-point victory over Heathcote - the Grasshoppers will have three players from that team on Saturday: Matt Riordan, former coach Nick Knight and Sam Vale.
Bull was also part of that 2008 premiership team, but will be coaching from the sidelines.
Twins Cooper and Hugh Hamilton were only four-years-old when the Grasshoppers won the 2008 flag, but the two talented youngsters now have the chance to win senior premierships before their 16th birthdays.
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