Eaglehawk coach Travis Matheson has his fingers and toes crossed the state government eases travel restrictions for Melbournians this week.
The next two rounds of footy will shape Eaglehawk's BFNL premiership campaign and the Borough coach desperately needs his Melbourne-based players back for games against Strathfieldsaye and Golden Square.
The Hawks have lost three games by single digit margins in the first seven rounds and two more defeats to fellow finals contenders in the Storm and Bulldogs would just about quash the Borough's hopes of earning an all-important top three berth for the finals.
The Borough (4-3) are already one game behind the fourth-placed Golden Square (5-2) and need to at least split its next two games to stay in touch with the top three.
Filo is living in Darwin and is flying in and out of Melbourne each week to play.
"It would be a tough pill to swallow if we don't get those players back this week,'' Matheson said.
The Hawks' coach conceded pressure was building on the club as it tried to keep its premiership campaign on track.
"We've only got ourselves to blame,'' Matheson said.
"If we had won those two close games early on in the season we wouldn't be worried about the (Sandhurst) loss."
The silver lining to the Hawks' cloud was the form of some unheralded players in the brave loss to Sandhurst.
The unheralded young Hawks stretched the unbeaten Dragons to the limit and they could have won the game had it not been for wayward kicking in front of goal.
"If there's a positive to come out of a negative is that we got the chance to have a look at some of the boys that were on the fringe,'' Matheson said.
"We'd been tossing up whether to play them or not and we did play them and they did a good job."
Matheson won't be the only key figure at the Hawks praying for restrictions to ease this week.
The home game with Strathfieldsaye is one of the biggest home and away matches of the year and the club's bean counters will be dearly hoping for fans to be allowed access to Canterbury Park.
"Hopefully, the restrictions are eased and we get a good crowd there,'' Matheson said.
"Eaglehawk and Strathfieldsaye games are usually good games of footy."
Round eight action in the BFNL:
Eaglehawk v Strathfieldsaye at Canterbury Park, Kyneton v Sandhurst at Kyneton Showgrounds, Gisborne v Maryborough at Gardiner Reserve, South Bendigo v Kangaroo Flat at QEO and Castlemaine v Golden Square at Camp Reserve.
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