North Launceston is set to embrace a change of plans to tackle Lauderdale without two of its linchpins for the TSL grand final on Saturday.
Coach Taylor Whitford has confirmed ruckman Alex Lee and centre-half back Braden van Buuren will be sidelined.
"Braden has had surgery - we know he's no chance and Alex hasn't trained," he said.
Lee looks certain to lose the race against time from a knee injury sustained in the Bombers' semi-final win.
Whitford may give the Devonport recruit until Friday to prove the coach wrong.
North Launceston looks to have very little choice but to switch ex-Brisbane Lion Bart McCulloch from full forward into the centre bounce to take on the TSL team-of-the-year ruckman Haydn Smith.
"We've had a week to prepare as a group how we want to go about it," Whitford said.
"They are two key players, no doubt, but we have a better understanding of how we are going to go about playing.
"Realistically, it probably wasn't going to matter what opposition we played for the way in which we'll go in now.
"So just having that week off has been handy to get in some planning for those injuries we have and to make wholesale changes where we are going to need them."
The absence of van Buuren to an elbow comes after the 23-year-old, who was named in the back pocket for the state team of the year, accepted a reprimand from the match review panel over careless, high contact with Lauderdale's Bryce Walsh.
The dual blow nearly pales into insignificance for the club that won its fourth flag in five seasons last year.
Gone from that side are North Melbourne gun Tarryn Thomas, one-time coach Tom Couch and also integral names like Zach Burt, Tom Bennett and Mark Walsh.
TIME TO DECIDE:
- AFL need to believe, says Brad Green
- Q&A: Chris Fagan on Tasmania's bid for an AFL team
- 'There's a thirst': Brady, Thorp, Sanders talk logistics
- Tasmanian AFL team: Getting the economics right
- Footy pathway needs earlier start: Sanders
- Time for Tas to sever team ties, says former AFL boss
- Editorial: Now is the time to believe
- AFL bid is now or never
- Sign the pledge here
Whitford is not phased by the missing holes to the lineup on the back of a top 16-3 season record including this year's minor premiership.
A contingency plan will be devised on replacements playing their role to cover the injuries, ensuring the Northern Bombers will not miss a beat in the statewide decider.
"We have had 18 games, plus the finals, to prepare our list to go when required," Whitford said.
"We put ourselves in a position to finish on top to do that and then winning the semi-final showed some real positive signs. It's a state grand final so you never do know what can happen.
"One, we have to be prepared for different things and two, we have to be prepared just to play our best footy."
The club for the second year running will have representation in two of the three grand finals on offer.
The Bombers development league side joins their seniors on Bellerive Oval.
Launceston will also play in the TSLW grand final.
Whitford expects that sort of continuity to assist both of the teams from York Park.
"It's a fantastic position that our club has been able to put ourselves in," he said.
"We unfortunately didn't win the development league grand final last year, so hopefully they can go one better.
"But it does create a better vibe around the footy club instead of only having your best 23 or 24 players training.
"Whereas we have our whole list there and it's just a normal week on the track, which probably also gives us a bit of an advantage on preparing our guys better."
Do you know a junior sports star who calls Northern Tasmania home? Nominate them today.
While you're with us, did you know that you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates direct to your inbox? Sign up here.
Subscriptions are available here.