Round 11 QAFL Syd Guildford nominee: Josh Fraser

He is arguably the recruit of the year, and is living up to the hype. After a 10-goal haul for Labrador on Sunday, Josh Fraser is the round 11 Syd Guildford player of the round nominee.

The stats don’t lie. Six games, 33 goals, which includes 18 in the last two weeks; he’s still got it.

Labrador dismantled the Western Magpies after quarter time on Sunday, and Josh Fraser was on a rampage in the forward line.

“I am really fortunate to play in the team that I do and in the forward line that I do, we tend to spread the load. I was lucky enough lucky enough to get on the end of a few on the weekend,” Fraser said.

“I think that is the best performance we have had as a team, and I was fortunate enough to be on the end of the good work up the field.”

No doubt about it, the Tigers forward line Fraser speaks of, if they are all out on the park, is star studded.

Baxter, Daniel, Fraser, Lapin, Perry-Bolt, Clarke, they are all match winners in their own right, but them seem to work in harmony instead of getting in each others space.

“We seem to work pretty well together. We structure up ahead of the ball in different ways, we have got some key targets deep that can play out of the square and we have got some guys that can play up the ground, and our smalls are also pretty dangerous around goals,” he said.

“We have got a bit of a motto that it doesn’t matter who kicks them as long as we are getting shots on goals from our entries. To this point of the season it’s been pretty effective.”

Fraser’ primary focus in 2015 is his senior coaching position of the Gold Coast SUNS NEAFL side. After finding his feet in his first year in the job in 2014, he decided that community football still had a role to play in his life, and Labrador was the perfect fit.

“I missed it a little bit last year. When I retired I wanted to coach, and was thankful enough to get the opportunity with the SUNS. I had a year out where I went back and played local footy for my old club, Mansfield in Victoria, and I really enjoyed that, I didn’t realise how much I actually would enjoy it,” Fraser said.

“With coaching commitments last year I chose not to play anywhere, but the opportunity came up this year with Steve Daniel’s working relationship with the SUNS, and it was one I really jumped at. Seven or eight games for the year probably suits where my body is at.

“I couldn’t speak highly enough of the footy club at Labrador and the league as well. That’s the other part that has been attractive, it’s been a really good clean standard of footy and I’ve enjoyed having a kick.”

So far, there hasn’t been any issue balancing responsibilities at the SUNS with his Labrador games.

“We probably mapped it out a bit at the start, and it was something I wanted to make sure, that before having a kick, it wasn’t going to affect my role with the SUNS and the NEAFL, and if there were enough opportunities to play and play a meaningful role,” he said.

“It hasn’t really clashed at all. Generally if we play NEAFL Saturday and if there is a game on Sunday I can play, and visa versa. At the moment, it’s working well, and at the moment I think I’m available for one more in the home and away and then it’s finals.”

Looking forward, Fraser knows the cattle are there for Labrador to have a real tilt at premiership success.

“I think we are well placed. I’m more and more impressed with our team every time I roll out there. The coaching is really strong and I think we have got some high expectations around the group and what we expect from each other,” Fraser said.

“The ingredients are there but it doesn’t guarantee anything. We know come the end of the season and finals it’s a different ball game and we will have to raise the bar, but at this point I think we are doing enough to suggest we are as good of a chance as anyone.”

As for if we will be seeing Fraser in the QAFL in years to come? Never say never.

“I feel pretty good to be honest, I don’t really know, but my sole focus is on my coaching and developing that, but I guess the opportunity to have a kick again wouldn’t be out of the question and whilst I’m enjoying it and whilst I feel like I can contribute, I’m open to doing it, so we will have to wait and see,” he said.

Labrador take on Broadbeach this Saturday in a triple header at H&A Oval.

By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles

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