Holbrook has emerged as the frontrunner to land the prized signature of Barton medallist Michael Rampal.
The man they call 'Rama' has been on the recruiting radar of a host of Ovens and Murray and district league clubs after another outstanding season for Thurgoona.
Rampal sparked a recruiting frenzy when he told The Border Mail after his medal victory that he hadn't ruled out testing himself at the higher level of the O&M this year.
Wodonga, Wodonga Raiders, Myrtleford, North Albury and Lavington all showed interest in the tough-as-nails onballer.
Myrtleford was leading the race to sign Rampal with the super-fit midfielder training several times at McNamara Reserve before Christmas.
However, it is believed that the travel factor ruled the Saints out of contention.
In a surprising twist, speculation is rife that Holbrook has trumped all clubs and that Rampal will don the green and gold this season.
The Brookers could formally announce the signing as early as next week.
Neither Rampal or Brooker officials could be contacted for comment on Friday.
The addition of Rampal in the Brookers midfield is set to provide a huge boost to their premiership credentials.
The 36-year-old is regarded as one of the premier midfielders in the Tallangatta league.
He has been instrumental in the success of the Bulldogs during their golden era since arriving at Thurgoona in 2017.
Incredibly he hadn't played football for the previous 11 seasons.
Rampal played for Dandenong Stingrays as a teenager in the TAC Cup in 2003.
He knocked back rookie list opportunities to pursue his passion of motorsport.
The Brookers have already closed the gap significantly on league heavyweight Osborne after signing Andrew Mackinlay, Michael Oates and Kolby Heiner-Hennessy.
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In a further bonus Brad Carmen has moved back to the border from Wollongong.
Carman won the Brookers' best and fairest in 2017 and is set to play full-time for his home club next year.
Both Carman and Mackinlay played in Lavington's flag in 2019.
In contrast Osborne is yet to announce any signings and appear unlikely to.
Star teenager Sam Stening, ruckman Michael Driscoll and Ainslie recruit Hayden Armstrong are all confirmed departures.
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