Nathan Cooper appears to be a longshot to be part of any finals action for Wangaratta Rovers this season.
Cooper originally signed with Richmond VFL for this season but has recently switched to VFL rival Werribee on the advice of Tiger officials.
The 23-year-old has nominated the Hawks as his second club when free of VFL commitments.
However, the biggest hurdle to the star defender taking part in the September action is that VFL listed players have to play a minimum of nine matches with their second club to be eligible for finals.
The likelihood of Cooper not cementing a spot for Werribee appears slim, robbing the Hawks of one of their biggest assets if they are good enough to snap their finals drought.
The Hawks last played finals in 2014 and are in their longest stretch without an O&M premiership in the club's proud history.
Football operations manager Barry Sullivan conceded the Hawks were planning to see a lot less of Cooper.
"Depending on his form, I think there will be less opportunities for Nathan to play for us now that he is at a stand alone club in Werribee compared to Richmond," Sullivan said.
"In contrast if you are at an AFL aligned club like Richmond you have to make way for the AFL listed players if they are available, regardless of your form.
"But at the end of the day you have to play nine matches with your second club to be eligible to play finals."
Defending premier Lavington could find itself in a similar position to the Rovers with Shaun Mannagh.
He was starved of VFL opportunities with Richmond in 2019 and played 16 matches with the Panthers.
Mannagh enjoyed a career best season and instrumental in Lavington capturing its first flag since 2005.
The 22-year-old enhanced his growing reputation in the decider after winning the Did Simpson medal.
He finished with five goals and 27 possessions.
Mannagh has also joined Werribee in a bid to reignite his VFL career.
Both Mannagh and Cooper have been training with Werribee over the pre-season under coach Michael Barlow.
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