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Sun sets on Fraser

Sportal August 10, 2012, 3:18 pm
Josh fraser

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Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna has confirmed that forgotten veteran Josh Fraser's career is effectively over.

Despite an unprecedented injury crisis that has forced the Suns into making six changes for Saturday's wooden spoon decider against GWS - including first-choice ruckman Zac Smith - the 30-year-old once again missed the selection boat.

And the former Collingwood star will not get the opportunity to add to his 225 AFL games unless injury claims the remainder of Gold Coast's burgeoning group of talls.

Fraser, who has featured just twice this year for the senior side, has performed well for the Suns in the NEAFL - but it appears that's where he will stay for the rest of the year, despite expressing an interest at the start of the year in playing into 2013.

McKenna said he expected this would be Fraser's final season on the club's list and that he is 'comfortable' on the outer.

"Josh understands where he's at and that's a conversation we'll have at the end of the year, but he's comfortable doing what he's doing," he said.

"If the rest of the boys are injured, Josh will get his opportunity. He's fully aware of that and he's known about that for a while.

"He understands that if we've got an opportunity to play a tall ruck slash forward, and he and Josh are at the same sort of level, we're probably going to play a kid going forward."

Claimed by the Suns as an uncontracted player at the end of the 2010 season, Fraser made 16 AFL appearances last season - but McKenna said most of his value has been behind the scenes.

He praised the number one draft pick from 1999 for his work with the Coast's ruck prodigies - such as Smith, the injured Daniel Gorringe, an improving Charlie Dixon, former volleyballer Tom Hickey and Victorian product Tom Nicholls.

Hickey has been named as an emergency for Gold Coast this weekend, and could come into the side to face the Giants if David Swallow (knee) or Jared Brennan (calf) pull up sore on Saturday morning.

"A lot of the reward for (Hickey's) work is on the back of Josh has put into him," McKenna said.

"What Josh has been able to do is actually provide that support and leadership for our tall young rucks.

"He's been fantastic around the group, he's been fantastic in the NEAFL and he understands if the opportunity arises for him, he's ready to take it."

McKenna said his men will not be motivated by the opportunity to handball the wooden spoon to novices GWS, who sit four points above them on the premiership table.

"It's about winning this game of footy and playing the style of footy we want to," he said.

"We do that more regularly, you get off the bottom and you don't have to worry about that."

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