YARRAWONGA star Brad O’Connor admits he needs to help fill the void left behind by former AFL stars Brad Ottens and Kayne Pettifer in attack today.
The Pigeons will be without two of their most dangerous weapons up forward for the top-of-the-table blockbuster against Albury.
Ottens is unavailable, while Pettifer is nursing a foot problem that has sidelined him for the past fortnight.
Although Yarrawonga’s star goalkicker Brendan Fevola is back in action after a two-game suspension, O’Connor said Yarrawonga couldn’t afford to rely on Fevola alone to kick a winning score for the Pigeons.
“It’s good to have Fev back,” O’Connor said.
“It helps free us up, but we always try and share it out.
“We didn’t have Otto last time and got over the line but we’re expecting another good hit-out with Albury.
“We always do — these are the type of games you play for and want to play well in, aren’t they?”
O’Connor didn’t dance around the issue when asked how important it was to win today and claim top spot and the minor premiership.
He said it was vital in setting up Yarrawonga’s premiership defence.
“We want that week off and it’s shown in the past that finishing on top is pretty important,” he said..
“The last seven years shows that.”
The last team to win the flag without finishing the home and away season on top of the ladder was Lavington in 2005.
Despite playing in a forward line that often starves him of opportunity, O’Connor sits inside the league’s top-10 goalkickers with 42 majors from 17 games.
The two-time Ovens and Murray representative, who is now in his third season at J.C. Lowe Oval, broke both the 100-goal and 50-game career barriers this season.