NORTH Albury coach Jason Akermanis believes his team is well placed to make further inroads next season.
The Hoppers have been the surprise packets of the competition with seven wins and the Brownlow medallist is confident natural development and smart recruiting can push them into the top five.
“We need to get bigger and that will happen naturally with an age profile of 20.9 last week,” Akermanis said.
“We’ll have a look at our rucks and see where Izzy (Isaac Muller) and Mitch (Mahady) are at and we’ll look at a really good midfielder.
“At the moment we are talking to seven or eight players who would be fantastic.
“Let’s not forget what we have got here as well.”
North Albury has been scouring the Hume and Tallangatta leagues for emerging talent and plans to run an academy later this year.
The impending return of ruckman Josh Lloyd from injury is another plus.
“We have got some really good contacts and players want to come to us,” he said.
“We have been talking for the past 12 months.
“I can’t say anything until they have signed but it’s looking positive.”