11:30AM: FORMER AFL champion Jason Akermanis will coach North Albury next season.
Rife speculation as reported by The Border Mail has been confirmed by the Hoppers and Akermanis at Bunton Park this morning.
Akermanis has signed as a playing coach. He told media he will be based in Melbourne but hasn't ruled out moving to the Border.
Gun Hoppers midfielder Matt McDonald was announced as Akermanis's assistant.
The new head coach said he hadn't yet spoken with any ex-AFL teammates but urged former Brisbane Lions premiership teammate Daniel Bradshaw, who lives in the Border region, to consider joining the O&M.
Click through the above images to hear Aker talk about Bradshaw today (iPhone app users can tap the 'Videos' tab for audio).
Akermanis's arrival to the Ovens and Murray follows Yarrawonga's financial and on-field success with Brendan Fevola this year.
Wangaratta Rovers also enjoyed big crowds and a preliminary final berth on the back of Barry Hall's short stint at the club.
Akermanis's arrival has already raised some eyebrows. Former Wodonga captain Josh Walker tweeted that he hoped last night's rumours about Akermanis's arrival were not true "for the Hoppers' sake".
McDonald today tweeted before the announcement that "maybe some footy clubs should worry about themselves... don't throw stones in glass houses".
Akermanis, a Brownlow medallist and three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player, has been a regular on the Border in the past 18 months.
He played a one-off match for the Murray Magpies against Lockhart in May, an appearance which created headlines for all the wrong reasons after his phone and watch were stolen from the changerooms.
The Hume league appearance came after he played for Ovens and King club Milawa against Tarrawingee in April last year.
Meanwhile, Brendan Fevola says he has re-signed at Yarrawonga for 2013.
The Pigeons are yet to confirm the deal, but Fevola took to Twitter as news of Akermanis's signing was breaking.
"Got some great news I've just re-signed at Yarrawonga for next year," he wrote.
"Back to back baby!! Great town great people."