The Warriors will make a last-ditch effort to crack into the all important top three of the Wimmera Football League when they take on the Warrack Eagles on Saturday.
Two games currently separate the third placed Eagles and fourth placed Warriors.
A win for Stawell will cut that gap to just one game, opening up an opportunity to knock Warrack out of third spot.
The team that finishes third will play off against second in a qualifying final, with the loser receiving a double chance.
The teams that finish fourth and fifth play off in an elimination final, seeing the losers season come to an end.
Warrack coach Ryan McKenzie said the game is one of the biggest for his teams season.
“A win should seal a top three spot for us, so it is a massive match,” he said.
Stawell coach Tom Eckel said the equation is simple for his team.
“It’s pretty easy for us, we win and we keep our top three chances alive. It is pretty important for us,” he said.
The teams last faced off in round six at Central Park, with a nine goal to three first half setting up a season defining win for the Eagles.
McKenzie kicked four goals in a best on ground performance in that game.
“We faded a little bit at the end of the game but we were pretty solid overall,” McKenzie said.
“We moved the ball quickly into our forward line and had some good match ups.
“They had a few out on that day so we know they will better this week.”
Stawell’s side will potentially remain unchanged following last weeks loss to Minyip-Murtoa.
“We had nine out and still have nine out unfortunately,” Eckel said.
“The boys didn’t play too badly on the weekend, we just couldn’t put the score on the board.”
Eckel said despite missing a number of senior players he believes Stawell can compete with Warrack.
“It is meant to be pretty wet on Saturday which should suit us. We have blokes in the side that put their head over the ball which is great to see,” he said.
Mitch Kelly was a new face in the Stawell senior side last weekend, kicking a goal as one of the Warriors’ best players in his senior debut.
“Mitch has been training really hard and that paid off on Saturday,” Eckel said.
“We have a fair bit of homegrown talent coming through the ranks which is great for our club.”
McKenzie said having the opportunity to play a team such as Stawell is a bonus at this time of the year.
“We always like playing teams that you might play in finals or that are above you on the ladder. It makes you push a little harder and get the best out of yourself,” he said. “The boys have played pretty well this year and if we can play our best footy on the day we are confident of coming away with the four points.”
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