Former Collingwood and Gold Coast ruckman Josh Fraser is flying into Mansfield after signing on as an Eagle.DAMEN FRANCIS December 14, 2012 4:05pm
Mansfield is the latest Goulburn Valley Football League club to unveil a bumper new recruit this off-season, with the signing of former Collingwood and Gold Coast ruck maestro Josh Fraser.
The announcement was made at Mansfield Recreation Reserve this afternoon, where the 30-year-old will serve as playing assistant coach next year.
The Eagles faced competition from GVFL rival Shepparton, Ovens and Murray club North Albury and Murray Football League club Tocumwal for his signature, but the lure of returning to play in his home town sealed the deal for the former Murray Bushranger.
‘‘I was lucky enough to speak to a few clubs and that was a process I wanted to go through ... but, I made it clear to them they were always competing against the go-home factor at Mansfield,’’ Fraser said.
‘‘The further the process went the more it made sense for me to come back.
"I've played 13 years at that higher level, so clearly my best footy days are behind me, but to come back and play while just out of the AFL system is great.
"But, I think my head space is more into developing players, so that will be my main focus."
Fraser was taken at pick one of the 1999 national draft and played 200 AFL games for Collingwood before joining Gold Coast last year.
He retired at the end of this season after making 18 appearances in two years for the Suns.
At 202cm Fraser is expected to form a formidable partnership with fellow Eagles big man Mark Jones in the ruck and spend time forward as a marking target.
His role as assistant coach will include managing Mansfield’s Melbourne-based training at Gosch’s Paddock.
Eagles coach Fraser Stevenson said the signing was a major coup for the club and the league.
‘‘He is going to be a great leader and role model for us on and off the field,’’ Stevenson said.
‘‘Kids coming through, not only our under 18s, but all our junior ranks - to see a type of player like Josh that has been a number one draft pick and played 200 games, it is proof in the pudding they can do that too.’’
"He is only (30), he's going to bring a lot to the table as a player."
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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