HANWOOD'S Pascoe Cup grand final hopes have been given a huge boost with Andy Gamble set to make a shock return from suspension for Sunday's decider against Lake Albert.
And the Griffith club will put the Wagga City Wanderers under-20s side on their Christmas card list after their premiership charge paved the way for his return.
Gamble was handed a five game ban after he was red carded when playing for the Wanderers' National Premier League Two side in early August.
Hanwood initially opted to toe the line with Football Wagga after clubs agreed before this season that dual-registered players suspended for a red card offence in one competition can't play in another, despite national rules permitting them to do so.
But after seeking clarification, Gamble has been able to serve his ban through the NPL under-20s competition, which permits a couple of over-age players to be named on the sheet each week.
The Wanderers under-20s played three finals games on their way to the title, clearing the way for Gamble to play.
Opinions are sure to be divided on whether Gamble should be able to play in the decider, but Hanwood coach Anthony Agresta said he's "good to go".
"Some of our guys went over to the last council of clubs meeting two or three weeks ago and spoke to a few of the (club) presidents just to clarify how it is served. Apparently he's served his five games and is good to go," Agresta said.
"We wanted to make sure 100 per cent that everything was above board, we don't want to look like we're doing the wrong thing.
"From my point of view we wanted everything ticked off property, and we've received clarification that he's right to go.
"I'm sure if they (Lake Albert) were in the same situation, they'd be looking into it and doing the same thing.
"I don't think we've done anything wrong, we've checked if it's legit and it's all OK, now that's gone through I'm happy to go ahead with it."
Gamble is a personal trainer by trade and said fitness won't be an issue, despite not playing a game since August 3.
"He's still been training with us and he may have lost a bit of match fitness. But a game like this, I just think the occasion would be enough to get him up," Agresta said.
"He can cover a few positions but we'll decide what's best for the day.
"Losing Michael (Musitano) to suspension, it's probably softened that blow a bit."