AS has been the case all season, Manning Hockey premiers Chatham will have some players back and others out as they prepare for Saturday's division one men's final against Tacking Point Thunder.
Only on the rare occasions have the Wolves been at full strength.
"It's been a different year, certainly a challenging one at times,''' coach Frank Birkefeld admitted.
The Wolves will be without Conor Smith and Dylan Turner tomorrow while there's doubt over Luke Hough. Smith injured his thumb in the 3-2 win over Tigers in last Saturday's minor semi while Turner has been out for three weeks after undergoing surgery on his foot.
However, Chatham will welcome Michael Moore and Luke Witchard back.
Birkefeld isn't sure if Smith will be right should Chatham qualify to meet Sharks in next weekend's grand final. This has been his first full year in division one.
"Conor's really come of age in the last couple of weeks,'' he said.
Birkefeld added the Wolves would miss Turner's high work rate.
However, Birkefeld said there has been a positive to the challenges the club has endured.
"We've been able to give a few players from our second grade a run,'' he said.
"Last week Ryan Doherty, who usually plays goal keeper for our second grade came into the side and played in the field and he was outstanding. He did everything we asked of him.
"So the future is looking bright. But that doesn't help at the moment.''
The Wolves survived a gripping minor semi-final last weekend, defeating Tigers 3-2 despite only having nine players on the field at fulltime due to injury.
Captain Adam Birkefeld said the side was 'spent' but managed to defend a string of short corners late in the game.
Frank Birkefeld said it's hard to run a rule over the results from clashes against Thunder this year.
"We went up to Port earlier in the season when we only had about five regular A-graders and we copped an 11-2 thumping,'' he said.
"Since then we've played a couple of draws. We rolled them in our last game, but I think they had a few players away then.''
Birkefeld said Thunder's a well-drilled and well-coached side.
"They have good players right across the paddock - they're a quality team,'' he said.
However, he understands the Hastings association grand finals are on tomorrow and Thunder could have players involved in the B-grade game who will then have to make the trip to Taree for the division one final.
Should Chatham get through to the grand final they'll be shooting for an unprecedented 10th consecutive premiership. But Birkefeld said that's not in his mindset at the moment.
"Number one, we have to get there,'' he said.