The legend could well be back.
Kyabram’s two-time premiership coach Paul Newman hinted his long-awaited return to playing would come in this weekend’s trip to Shepparton Swans, as a replacement for injured forward Kyle Mueller.
It provides one element of interest to what is likely to be a Princess Park procession, with a young Swans side running into the league’s most formidable outfit.
Newman, who stepped away from playing after his side’s 2016 premiership, would be the perfect replacement for Mueller, who has become a bona fide Goulburn Valley League star.
‘‘(Mueller) has a medial strain, he’ll be in a brace for three or four weeks and then start to rehab it,’’ Newman said.
‘‘It should be six to eight weeks, but we’ll play it by ear, he’s a super important player for us and we won’t be taking any unnecessary risks.
‘‘We’ve got a few guys down on form and we’re hoping all of them can chip in a little bit.’’
While it shapes as a mismatch, Newman saw plenty of room for improvement on his side’s 71-point win against Echuca, particularly leading into next week’s grand final rematch with Shepparton.
‘‘We felt like we lowered our calibre of commitment around the ball, so it’s another opportunity to get better and we’ll be concentrating on us and hopefully the result takes care of itself,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got respect for all opponents and we need to make sure we keep improving because we’ve got a serious challenge next week.’’
The Swans have been outscored by 354 points in their four losses this season and coach Justin George said his side could not worry about the score.
‘‘They’re the reigning premiers — the road to a premiership runs through Kyabram,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m not too worried about the score, more about doing what we want to do, our effort level and our numbers and how well we compete.
‘‘What I’ve been saying to the players is they’re the benchmark and it’s a great opportunity to understand how hard you have to work and what you have to do to compete at this level.
‘‘It’s a good test to find out exactly where we are at and exactly how far we have to go. We’re really looking forward to the challenge.’’
The Swans will miss the presence of veteran Glenn Manton, unavailable this weekend.