YARRAWONGA is confident gun recruit Brad Ottens will be available for next weekend’s blockbuster against Albury to decide which team will finish on top of the ladder.
Ottens showed his worth in the Pigeons’ 112-point win against Wodonga on Saturday by kicking three goals while resting up forward and having a huge influence when playing on the ball.
Club president Glenn Brear said the club would be in touch with Geelong early this week in a bid to have Ottens released from his coaching duties with the Cats against Sydney on Saturday.
“We will be trying our best to have Brad with us,” Brear said.
“It’s a bit early to say yet but we are quietly confident Brad will line up.”
Even if Ottens misses against the Tigers, the Pigeons will be boosted by the return of Brendan Fevola, Kayne Pettifer and Connor Hargreaves from suspension and injury for the much-awaited contest.
The Pigeons, who were going through the motions before getting a wake-up call when defeated by Lavington, have rediscovered the game plan and discipline with co-coach Chris Kennedy delighted with the turnaround.
“The past two weeks is where we want to be.” Kennedy said.
“We seem to be back on track.
“The pressure side is good, our defensive side is good and we have the capability to have an even spread of goal kickers.
“We want top spot.
“We returned to the top today so the equation is pretty simple — win and we are there.”
Yarrawonga’s eight-goal first quarter was stunning with its bevy of running players such as Xavier Leslie, Tyler Bonat, Tim Cooper, Ed Bayles and Matt Gorman dominating their opponents.
In particular it was the performances of Craig Ednie and Drew Barnes that gave the home team great drive out of the middle.
Ednie was clearly best afield before receiving a stinger to his shoulder late in the second quarter and taking no further part in the match.
Barnes relished his push forward and added further potency with his five goals.
Centre half-back Marcus McMillan, Jarrod Thompson, Nick Lawless and Luke Hammond were prominent in defence.
Bulldog coach Ben Hollands won a lot of the ball in the backline.
Nick and Dylan Beattie were triers as was Mat Seiter, James Vogel and Tyson Gorupic.
But Hollands admitted his plans were blown away.
“We have focused on trying to get into the game early, but today they came out fired-up,” Hollands said.
“We had no answers as they banged it on.
“I thought we did better after that but in the end we were clearly outclassed.”