Stopping Hoppers’ run crucial: Leslie

MORRIS medallist Xavier Leslie says Yarrawonga must stop North Albury’s outside run if it wants to avoid another heartstopper against the Hoppers today.

North Albury almost caused one of the shocks of the season at Bunton Park in round 7 when it pushed the reigning premier all the way.

“They’re a good side,” Leslie said.

“They’re well-drilled, disciplined and Aker has structured them well.

“All the kids run well.

“We need to try and keep the game in close and beat them around the contested ball because once it breaks open, they’re hard to stop.”

While most Ovens and Murray fans have been surprised by North Albury’s performance this year, Yarrawonga star Leslie isn’t surprised by their performance.

“They’ve still got some very good players,” he said.

“You mix that with confidence and momentum with a young group and you keep yourselves in games.”

In a huge boost for the Pigeons, star forward Brendan Fevola returns this afternoon.

Leslie is expecting the former AFL ace to come back with a bang.

He’ll want to impress,” he said.