JOSH Fraser is poised to sign as assistant coach of Ovens and Murray club North Albury this week.
Hoppers coach Jason Akermanis last night said Fraser had not signed at Bunton Park but the former Collingwood and Gold Coast ruckman would train with the club on Thursday.
North Albury is vying with Mansfield, Fraser’s home club, for his signature.
Akermanis was confident the Hoppers would win the battle for Fraser, who harbours coaching ambitions in the AFL, after 218 games at the top level.
“The best way for him to know what we are all about is to come up and have a look at the club and to train with us,” Akermanis said.
“He needs to have met the guys, seen how we train, all that sort of stuff.
“I wouldn’t want him to sign before he’s done that, there’s no point.
“I’m really confident once he comes up and has a look at the place he will like what he sees.
“We can offer Josh a lot of things Mansfield can’t and I’ve told him that.”
Fraser was selected by Collingwood with pick No.1 in the 1999 draft after being a Murray Bushrangers standout.
After 325 games with the Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs, Akermanis was confident he could have a positive influence on Fraser in his first year out of the AFL system.
“I know exactly what he’s going through,” he said.
“You’re out of the elite system after such a long time and motivation can be hard to come by.
“I can help him with that and I just know that by getting him up to North and speaking in front of the group and our young players that it would be really good for him.”
Former North Albury sharp-shooter Damian Cupido is also on the Hoppers’ radar.
The left-footer has been on fire for Southern Districts in the Northern Territory Football League.