TALENTED Narrandera ruck Brad Hutchison is the latest Riverina footballer to join Ovens and Murray League club North Albury.
After toying with the idea 12 months ago, Hutchison has strengthened the Riverina link at North Albury by signing with the Hoppers for the 2024 season.
Hutchison, who turned 20 on Tuesday, has established himself as one of the most exciting big man prospects in the Riverina League since making his senior debut as a 17-year-old in 2021.
He's put together 44 senior games since then, finishing runner up in Narrandera's best and fairest in 2021 and 2022.
Hutchison thought the time was right to take the next step.
"I can't wait," Hutchison said.
"I did pre-season with them last year. I thought it was pretty good, a lot better than the RFL, the standard and that sort of thing.
"I just enjoy playing footy and playing that higher quality footy will better me as a football player and hopefully I'll have an impact around the others too.
"I was looking to move away anyway so this came up and I jumped at it."
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Hutchison stands at 199 centimetres tall and 110 kilograms so North Albury are excited about what he will bring to their team going forward.
"Brad will blossom down here," North Albury football operations manager Mick Minogue said.
"He came across and probably did 10 sessions with us during pre-season and we were very impressed with him for a young fella and obviously he adds a good bit of size.
"We're lacking a ruckman full stop so he's the perfect fit.
"He's going to mix into the group well because of his age. He's looking to improve and turn himself into a better footballer so it works in really well."
Hutchison, while playing predominantly in the ruck, has shown his versatility by also playing key position at times at Narrandera.
North Albury have recruited him for the ruck.
"That's where we see him, in the ruck," Minogue said.
"Obviously he's got the ability to play in other positions if he was trained up for it but we see him as a ruckman and that's where he'll play his best footy for the time being."
Hutchison has been working for some time at his game and believes now is the right time to make the switch.
"I've been considering it ever since Eryn (Knobel) noticed me. I've been trying to crack down and get better so I can get to that next level," Hutchison said.
"I'm only 20, so I've got heaps of time but I thought it's a good time to move out of home.
"All they're missing is a couple of big bodies so hopefully I can have a big impact there."
Hutchison will make the move to Albury early in the new year and join fellow AFL Riverina products Cayden Winter, Jack Reynolds, Nathan Dennis and Tom Anderson at the club.
All four made a big impact at North Albury in their first season this year and helped the club climb up the Ovens and Murray ladder to sixth spot on the back of seven wins.
Minogue said the club couldn't have asked for more from the quartet this season.
"Over the moon. They've been great for the club," he said.
"They've all come from successful clubs, the culture that they're used to, they rolled that through the club and refreshed a lot of our guys who'd had a tough three years, only winning one game in three years.
"They bounced around the place and got everyone up and going. It was a win-win for everyone."
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