Pigeon praises veteran team-mates

YOUNG GUN: Yarrawonga's Bailey Frauenfelder will play his biggest game when the Pigeons meet Wangaratta on Sunday. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
YOUNG GUN: Yarrawonga's Bailey Frauenfelder will play his biggest game when the Pigeons meet Wangaratta on Sunday. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Yarrawonga young gun Bailey Frauenfelder says two experienced team-mates, in particular, have helped his transformation to senior football.

Frauenfelder will play just his sixth senior game in Sunday’s preliminary final against Wangaratta at North Albury’s Bunton Park.

“Tyler Bonat and Brad O’Connor have been really good, helping me out,” he said.

“Brad’s out there directing, telling me where to go when I play forward line.”

The 17-year-old kicked four goals in the first semi win over Lavington.

“I feel really natural around goal, I know where they are,” he said.

Frauenfelder has always been a prodigious talent, kicking 150 goals for Rennie under 14s in 2014.

“He certainly knows where the goals are, that’s a knack he’s had since he was a kid,” Pigeons’ co-coach Chris Kennedy said.

“But on the weekend, he just worked really hard.

“His tackling pressure was up and the goals came, but we don’t expect him to kick four goals every week.

“It was reward for him for how hard he worked.”

The Year 11 student said his father, Craig, has been the greatest influence.

“Dad won a few reserves flags at Mulwala, and he’s just always been there, telling me where to run,” he said.

Frauenfelder has based his game around his speed and finishing skills.

And he could be joined by two of the club’s other emerging youngsters.

Ely Smith and Ryan Bruce have been included in the Pigeons’ squad, which will be cut after training on Saturday morning.

Smith, who turned 17 on Wednesday, made an enormous impact in his debut against Lavington in the penultimate round.

The strongly-built 187-centimetre youngster racked up an impressive 24 possessions in the 58-point win over the Panthers.

The injection of Smith and Frauenfelder for that game had a major impact following the four-point loss to Wodonga Raiders.

It damaged the club’s top three hopes, but it was able to snare the double chance.