A preliminary final in the heart of Bear country holds no fear for Seymour playing coach Brent Colbert.
‘‘Not at all, everyone understands that that’s where the prelim is played, at Deakin Reserve,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s obviously an advantage for them (Shepparton), but our group has played enough on Deakin to make it not a big deal.’’
The Lions have been in exceptional form for more than two months — except when facing Kyabram — with seven wins from their past nine matches, and Colbert hoped last weekend’s loss to the Bombers did not halt his side’s momentum.
‘‘There’s a grand final up for grabs, so there’s definitely an excited feeling amongst the group this week,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a similar build up to last week, but we had a pretty disappointing performance against Ky, so we’re lucky enough to get another chance and we’ll be doing everything we can to make the most of it.
‘‘Our form has been pretty strong, but we haven’t been able to get over Ky, but there’s a strong Shepparton team in our way before we have to worry about that again.’’
The key defender is confident he, along with captain Matt O’Keefe, will return to the field on Sunday after withdrawing last week due to hamstring tightness, meaning a pair of Lions will be unlucky at the selection table.
‘‘We’ll both play, so there’s probably two blokes who are going to be unlucky,’’ Colbert said.
‘‘The list is really strong and healthy, which is great at this time of the year.
‘‘A lot of luck does come into it, but we’ll find out if it’s on our side on Sunday.’’
The midfield battle is where Seymour will aim to gain ascendancy, with stars such as O’Keefe, Jason Cole, Ben Clifton, Brett Meredith and Andrew Sturgess sure to cause problems.
Up forward the Lions will rely on Rory Scopel (34 goals), Hugh Robertson (30) and Jake Anderson (11 goals in his past three games) to stretch Shepparton’s defensive unit, while Brandyn Grenfell and Ash Holland will have a duel for the ages in the ruck.
Colbert, Brent Ryan and Dylan Scopel will patrol the backline in an attempt to shut down Shepparton’s small forward line, with the result of these matchups sure to be integral to deciding who takes on Kyabram in the flag decider.
Shepparton got the better of the Lions in the only clash between the teams this year, but Colbert has stressed to his charges that the opportunity in front of them is one they cannot let slip.
‘‘Any shot at a grand final is going to be huge,’’ he said.
‘‘For a lot of our players, this is probably their first opportunity to play in a Goulburn Valley grand final.
‘‘So I’ve been telling the boys all week that this is an opportunity that you might not get again, so you have to make the most of it.’’