FORMER AFL star Jason Gram is a Hopper.
The duel St Kilda grand final player signed with North Albury today on a one-year deal.
Coach Jason Akermanis said landing Gram was “great news for everyone involved with the club”.
He expects Gram to slot straight into the midfield and help take the pressure off forwards including skipper Dan Leslie.
Gram played in three grand finals with the Saints and was their best player in the 2009 decider against Geelong.
Now 28, he recently had his AFL contract torn up by St Kilda for failing to comply with conditions relating to his off-field behaviour.
Akermanis recently told The Border Mail he sympathised with the flashy wingman.
"He's in a similar sort of position to what I was a few years ago," Akermanis said.
"He probably realises he's done at AFL level.
"He wants to get what he can out of the game for the next couple of years and just enjoy his footy."
Gram is Akermanis's first big recruiting coup since joining the Hoppers late last year.
He has made it clear he hopes to bring another former AFL player, Damien Cupido, back to Bunton Park.
Cupido played for North Albury in 2010, when the Hoppers last played finals.
Jason Gram, 28
Draft: Pick 19 in 2001 national draft to Brisbane Lions
Games: 154 (152 St Kilda; 2 Brisbane)
Awards: 2008 Michael Tuck Medal (Preseason grand final)