Collingwood’s team of development staff is complete with the appointment of Josh Fraser to the position of Head of Academy.

Fraser returns to his football home after a decade spent coaching and developing young players at NEAFL, VFL and AFL level.

The 39-year-old played 200 games for the Magpies across an 11 year career in black and white (2000-2010) before finishing his playing career with 18 matches for the then fledgling Gold Coast (2011-2012).

Fraser coached the Gold Coast reserves in 2014, then worked in development with Carlton, later coached the Blues’ VFL team and most recently coached the Northern Bullants in the VFL.

As Head of Collingwood’s Academy, Fraser will work closely with the club’s 1-3 year players. He will be supported by development coaches Ash Close, Craig Black and the recently appointed Neville Jetta.

“It’s a thrill to be back,” Fraser said.

“Obviously, a part of me has always been remained with Collingwood. So, returning is exciting. But the professional challenge is what I’m most excited about.

“To help build and mould a new squad under the guidance of Craig McRae and the team is a wonderful opportunity.”

A renewed emphasis has been placed on the football education Collingwood’s youngest and emerging players receive.

Almost half of the players on Collingwood’s AFL list are in the 1-3 years of their professional careers. The club has drafted 10 players in the last 12 months and has Nick Daicos and other draftees poised to join the squad in the upcoming national draft.

The attention to development is also an acknowledgement of the serious disruption to junior and state football competitions over the last two years due to the coronavirus and the fact many young players have been deprived of game development.

“The skills Josh has as a coach and teacher of the game really complement what we want to do,” Collingwood GM of Football, Graham Wright, said.

“He is a worldy football person, someone who has lived the game from just about every angle and is able to relate that back to his teaching of the game.

“Craig McRae comes from a development background and is passionate about teaching young players the fundamentals. Josh and Craig share that philosophy. We think our Academy under the guidance of Josh, with Ash, ‘Blacky’ and Nev, will benefit our overall program enormously.”

2022 coaching panel

Craig McRae – AFL senior coach

Justin Leppitsch – Head of Strategy and defensive coach

Brendon Bolton – Director of Coaching and stoppage coach

Hayden Skipworth – Forwards coach

Scott Selwood – Midfield coach

Josh Fraser – Head of Development

Neville Jetta – Development coach

Ash Close – Development Coach

Craig Black – VFL & NGA head coach