YOUNG Albury key position player Ben Kelly has knocked back approaches from VFL and SANFL clubs to commit to the Tigers.
The 19-year-old, who was in the mix to be drafted after a strong season with the Murray Bushrangers, is looking forward to playing his first full season of senior football with the Tigers.
Kelly said he was pleased to have made a decision.
"I've been thinking about it for a while and it's going to be great to be play a full year at Albury," Kelly said.
"I have always looked up to a lot of the players I will be playing with.
"I've played a few games here and there but to play a full year with my home club is pretty good."
Kelly, who stands at around 200-centimetres, spent a week with a SANFL club before Christmas as he weighed up his playing future.
He has made seven cameo appearances for Albury in recent seasons while free of commitments with the Bushrangers.
Albury has focused heavily on recruiting youngsters over the off-season and, despite being written off in some quarters, is confident it can press for another top three position along with Myrtleford, Lavington, Wangaratta and Wangaratta Rovers..
Griffith brothers Jacob and Lucas Conlan head the list of arrivals to the Albury Sportsground.
Albury co-coach Luke Daly said Kelly would have plenty to offer at both ends of the ground.
"We're absolutely rapt," Daly said.
"He's a quality person and can obviously play so to get him for a full 18 games is exciting.
"It's exciting for him and us.
"He can play a number of positions - forward, back and in the ruck - and it's a real bonus for us to have someone of his size."
Meanwhile, Albury has abandoned its annual pre-season training camp to spent a weekend volunteering in the Upper Murray.
The Tigers are set to take 60 players and officials to Corryong on February 8 and will be based at the Colac Colac Caravan Park.
"We had a weekend for the camp set aside but then the bushfires came and we re-assessed our plans," Daly said.
"We thought it would be good to spend that time helping people in our own backyard.
"What better way is there to team bond than helping people?"
Like several Ovens and Murray clubs, Albury has strong connections in the Upper Murray with ruckman Zach Bye hailing from Corryong.
Former players including Sam Cross, John Mitchell, James Paton and Jake Collins are also from the region.
"I've been in contact with the Lions Club up there and they are sending people out to fire affected areas to help out," Daly said.
"We will join in there and do whatever we can.
"Whether it be rolling up burnt fences or cleaning up old sheds, hopefully we can help the community in some way.
"Tourism has obviously been affected as well so extra people coming to town will help as well."