Belconnen's Shane Harris. Photo: Colleen Petch
Last year's Mulrooney medallist Shane Harris has been named to make his long-awaited NEAFL return for Belconnen Magpies on Saturday.
Harris has not played since injuring his knee in round three, and will be looking to use the final-round fixture against Tuggeranong Hawks as a chance to gain match fitness.
Belconnen is looking to bounce back from its previous-round loss to Queanbeyan. But with the full-forward still not 100 per cent, it will have to weigh up whether to risk Harris.
Magpies coach Matthew Lokan said Harris would play provided he did not pull up sore after training.
''We probably don't need him but he is a handy and quality player to have,'' he said.
''We have had other guys kicking good goals [in Harris' absence].''
The form of the Belconnen forwards has not only been reflected through the Magpies' results, it is also highlighted by both Lokan and Christopher York being in the hunt to be named as the competition's leading goal kicker for the season.
But Lokan said this was not on his radar heading into the clash with the bottom-of-the-table Hawks.
''That is one of those individual things you don't look at until after the season,'' he said.
''It's much more beneficial to share the load.''
The loss to Queanbeyan was a rare defeat for Belconnen this season, and it came at a high price for the side, with Sydney Swans taking their place atop the Eastern Conference ladder and the minor premiership along with it.
''We didn't play great and now we lost our chance [to be minor premiers],'' Lokan said.
The game is significant for Tuggeranong, which will exit the NEAFL competition following the full-time siren.
''Being their last game, I expect Tuggeranong will play well,'' Lokan said.
''All season, we haven't worried about our opposition. We will prepare the same way.''