NORTH Albury coach Jason Akermanis has hit back at claims the Hoppers are in turmoil.
The other reality is our numbers at training don’t suggest there is much wrong at all.Jason Akermanis
Although the Brownlow medallist conceded the club had lost about 15 players, he is confident of unveiling a handful of quality recruits in coming weeks.
“It’s important not to hit the panic button,” Akermanis said.
“The reality is we have probably lost six senior players, which is a bit too many, but the reasons are varied.
“A couple were lazy, a couple we just couldn’t have any more because of their behaviour, a couple left for money and one left because we might get beaten which is crazy.”
North Albury has been hit hard over the off-season with Nick and Kris Holman, Jordan Harrington, Kylin Morey, Adam Elias, Josh Minogue, Kristian Cary, Tom Weldon and Daniel Lieschke the most notable departures from Bunton Park.
Hunter, Josh and Ben Lloyd are also expected to move on.
Akermanis, who scoffed at suggestions he could step down before the start of the season, said he was tired of hearing it was his fault.
“Everyone wants us to hit the panic button and blame me,” he said.
“Give us enough time to get some players.
“We reckon we can get six of the eight recruits we are talking to.
“The other reality is our numbers at training don’t suggest there is much wrong at all.
“We are averaging 38 players at training and if you can find any club in the league that is doing that then good on you.”
Akermanis said a key forward and defender and ruckman were at the top of North Albury’s shopping list.
The Hoppers bowed out of the premiership race in the elimination final this year when they went down to Yarrawonga.