FORMER Richmond rookie Gibson Turner has signed with North Alb-ury.
Turner, who spent the 2012 season at Punt Road, joined cousin Patrick Heenan on the Border this week as the Hoppers gained another mid-season arrival from the Northern Territory.
Turner, 20, arrives via Alice Springs and is regarded as one of Central Australia’s best players.
He will play against Wangaratta Rovers this weekend.
North Albury coach Jason Akermanis said Turner wasn’t actively pursued by the Hoppers and his arrival showed the Ovens and Murray’s pulling power.
“It’s always been a strong league but the talent and coaching standards are getting a lot better,” Akermanis said.
“It’s great for the competition.
“People are now starting to realise this is a great league to learn in.
“It gives guys a great chance to be looked at.
“In the past, it’s probably only really been through the Bushies and TAC Cup.”
Akermanis said Turner, who is in the process of being cleared from Central Australian league club Pioneer, was a perfect fit at Bunton Park.
The livewire forward trained with his new teammates last night.
“He fits the age and profile we want,” Akermanis said.
“As we all know, finding players of that quality is hard at the best of times.
“We are very fortunate he wants to come into our program.
“As you know we haven’t been actively pursuing players.”
It is unclear whether Turner will make his debut in the seniors or reserves.
Akermanis said he would make a call after training tonight.
The Hoppers travel down the highway hoping to end their run of near misses with a win over Wangaratta Rovers.
The Hawks ran out winners by 13 points when the clubs last met in round 1.