LAVINGTON will decide this afternoon whether star forward Adam Prior plays in tomorrow’s blockbuster against Albury.
The Panthers last night sprang a selection surprise by naming the three-time Doug Strang medallist for the top-of-the-table showdown at Lavington Oval.
Prior hasn’t played since injuring the medial ligament in his knee against Wangaratta in round 7.
Lavington coach James Saker said he expected his gun recruit to take his place in the side, but a final call wouldn’t be made until this afternoon.
“He’s named, obviously, but we’ll wait and see how he pulls up,” Saker said after training last night.
“We just want to be 100 per cent sure before we bring him out for a game like this.
“We don’t want to rush him.
“It may be perceived that way, but that’s out of our control.
“Adam’s been working on a long-term plan and has exceeded expectations at training this week.
“But we’re not going to put him in if he’s not right.”
Former St Kilda star Justin Koschitzke was also picked to play his first game in a month in what shapes as a huge boost to the Panthers’ forward line.
Saker said Lavington was confident of bringing down the unbeaten Tigers, regardless of whether Prior took his place in the side.
“With or without Adam, we think we can win the game,” he said.
“We’ll back our gameplan and structures and have a genuine belief that if we get it right for four quarters we can do it.
“We just can’t switch off.”
However, Saker conceded the addition of Koschitzke and potentially Prior was undoubtedly a boost for Lavington’s confidence going into the clash with the red-hot premiership favourite.
“Kosi definitely has a positive influence on the group,” he said.