Yarrawonga youngsters chasing first win over Albury

TIGER HUNT: Yarrawonga's Brady Pritchard is one of a number of youngsters who haven't beaten Albury. Picture: MARK JESSER
TIGER HUNT: Yarrawonga's Brady Pritchard is one of a number of youngsters who haven't beaten Albury. Picture: MARK JESSER

A handful of Yarrawonga’s young guns will look to grab their first win over Albury in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash.

The Pigeons have lost their last seven games.

“This is my sixth or seventh game against Albury and no, I don’t think I’ve ever beaten them,” utility Brady Pritchard said.

“I played one game in 2012 and seven or eight in 2014, and this is my third full season in seniors.”

Classy forward Jess Koopman is another of the group to have not tasted success against the superpower of the past decade.

Pritchard combined his time at Yarrawonga with the Murray Bushrangers in 2013-14.

The match has a stack of top-liners, but it could be the battle between the rising talent which decides the match.

The Pigeons started blooding a number of youngsters in recent years, such as Pritchard and Bronson Schofield, while the Tigers have done likewise this season with Jake Page and Billy Robertson.

“A lot of us young guys have had to play roles on their strong players at different stages,” Pritchard said.

“I played on Lonnie Hampton when he was here, but I haven’t really had to play any hard tagging roles on anyone else.”

Yarrawonga is reaping the rewards of its policy of recruiting players from within a 100-kilometre radius.

“We haven’t pretty much looked at having travellers from Melbourne for a lot of years now,” co-coach Chris Kennedy said.

“We’ve looked for more country players and preferably ones that live in Yarrawonga.

“Logan Morey is at uni in Melbourne and he’s a traveller, while Lach Howe is based there with Collingwood (VFL).”

Yarrawonga is undefeated after five rounds.

“We’re still a fair way from knowing what our best team is,” Kennedy said.

“We’ve got flexibility with some big guys, (Marcus) McMillan, (Brandon) Symes, (Lach) Howe.”

Symes hasn’t played seniors as he’s been working on a family farm.

“We told him not to come home and focus on doing the sowing,” Kennedy said.