YOUNG Yarrawonga backman Connor Hargreaves will make his first senior appearance since round 18 last season when he lines up against Wangaratta Rovers at J.C. Lowe Oval today.
Hargreaves missed the premiership after hurting his shoulder and looked set to sit out this season after being absent from pre-season training.
But the powerfully-built key position player was a surprise inclusion in Yarrawonga’s reserves against Wangaratta in round two and hasn’t put a foot wrong since.
“We’re rapt to have Connor back,” Pigeons co-coach Chris Kennedy said.
“He’s played four games in the reserves and is a big boy.
“We just want him to come and play footy and reach his potential.
“He’ll probably play down back and could give Brandon Symes a chop out in the ruck as well.”
The return of Hargreaves and dangerous forward Brad O’Connor will dramatically bolster Yarrawonga’s firepower as it attempts to put last weekend’s lacklustre performance against Wodonga behind it.
“I can tell at training the boys are really excited to be playing Wang Rovers,” he said.
“It’s going to be a nice day and we have only played one home game this year.
“We know we were down for a week and don’t want to play two bad games.
“I reckon we have played good footy since we lost to Albury last year, so we’ve been happy with our form and hopefully last week was just a poor performance that we got away with.”
Wangaratta Rovers have defeated North Albury, Wodonga Raiders and Wangaratta but fell short against top-three fancies Albury and Lavington.
Kennedy was an interested onlooker at the Hawks’ loss to Lavington earlier this month and said he was impressed with their new game plan after they led by as much as 22 points midway through the second term.
“They have changed a lot from last year,” he said.
“They are bigger and probably use it longer.
“Rovers have some dangerous big targets this season.”