To make inroads
do that, I think on our day we can beat anyone. We’re travelling okay – we’ve got a few injuries, but that’s like anyone else going forward.”
Among the injured players are James Laidlaw, who is out for the season, and Tyler Cronin who is battling to be back for finals with a hamstring strain.
Full forward Lachie Hamilton only rejoined the side in round 17 after a severe ankle injury at the start of the season and full back Adam Haslett has been limited to 10 games.
Despite the Rats’ depth being tested, they have, for the most part, responded well.
The team still has a potent midfield mix, with brothers Dan, Nick and Callum Mendes all able to find the ball and use it well to pinpoint Ararat’s forwards.
Tom Mills is enjoying another excellent season, working tirelessly and presenting well at centre half forward to kick 29 goals.
A fully fit Jack Ganley has been a welcome addition after the midfield-forward missed half of 2018, and young Cooper Heard has drawn praise from Fisher after kicking 13 goals on a forward flank.
If Hamilton can find something of his old form after recovering from his ankle injury, he should add a new focal point deep in attack.
At the other end of the ground Dylan Shelley has been a huge addition to the Ararat line-up.
Crossing from Corio after the 2018 season, Shelley is a versatile key position player who is capable of cutting off opposition entries in the backline or swinging forward to kick a goal.
Haslett will hold down another key defensive post, while players like Liam Arnott should provide run off half back.
It is this run which Fisher believes will be key to the Rats’ chances in finals. “I think our run and ball use have been our strengths,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot better with the ball. Even last season I think we turned it over a bit too much.