|V/AFL Clubs||Collingwood, Gold Coast|
Josh Fraser (born 9 January 1982) is a professional Australian rules football player currently playing for the Gold Coast Football Club in the Australian Football League and formerly of the Collingwood Football Club.
From Mansfield via Murray U18, Fraser was the number one pick in the 1999 National Draft, going to Collingwood. The tall ruckman was quiet when arrived at Victoria Park but soon became a valuable senior player, and ended up playing 21 games in the season. He won an AFL Rising Star nomination in his debut year. In 2001 Fraser continued to press and show his ability, but as a ruckman, his 202 cm stature did not show, as his ruckwork was mediocre. He did however kick 21 goals in 21 games, and find the ball, no matter how tall he was, he was mobile.
He played all 25 games in 2002, but he was inconsistent, and was not improving in his prime position, the ruck. He though proved as a goalkicker, this time kicking 37 goals, and being a key member in the Grand Final side, he kicked 3 goals, following a 3 goal haul in the Preliminary Final.
His best season though came in 2003 where he showed why he was a no.1 draft pick. He found the ball as often as he could, having over 340 disposals in the season, but the main statistic was his 300 hitouts. He also chipped in with 20 goals.
In 2004 he was inconsistent, however showed he was one of the most important members to the side. His skills as a ruckman who could find the ball were once again seen, and when he was not playing, the Pies struggled. His best game came when he was one of only two players to beat All-Australian ruckman Peter Everitt, in a game which saw Josh have 21 touches, 29 hitouts and kick two goals. He also brought up his 100th game. After being bested in one agame against Essendon in round 20, Fraser conceded that Essendon ruckman David Hille was his 'bogey' man.
The 2005 season was a year to forget for the Magpies, and for Fraser. Chronic knee injuries slowed his process and he only managed five games for the season.
Josh would enjoy a stellar 2006 season, being injury free and being one of the most respected ruckman during the year. He would play all 23 games with no real back-up, due to the lack of quality ruckman at the club. Fraser showed incredible mobility as a ruckman, despite his awkward look. He would be better as a tap ruckman also, having 341 hitouts for the year, his best return. Josh was a go to man across the ground and also provided good value moving up at half-forward, kicking 16.20. He would average more than 17 touches a game, more than seven marks a game, and 15 hitouts. He finished fourth in the Copeland Trophy, along with Heath Shaw, only three votes behind the eventual winner Alan Didak.
In 2007, Josh Fraser had an up-and-down season in which he often seemed to be carrying injuries, although he did not miss a game until Round 20 against Melbourne. This would prove to be his second last game for the season, though, returning for the Elimination Final win against the Sydney Swans before withdrawing late against the West Coast Eagles the next week, effectively ending his 2007 campaign.
In 2008, Fraser was named Scott Burns' vice-captain.
In 2010, Fraser just played nine games for the club, and he lost his first-choice ruckman position to new recruit Darren Jolly. Fraser played his 200th game for Collingwood in the round 22 clash against Hawthorn. At the conclusion of the season, Fraser was picked by the Gold Coast Football Club, ending his tenure with the Magpies.
Fraser's first season at the Suns was a success. He played 16 games, with an average of 14.8 disposals and 13.3 hitouts per game. His main role at the Suns in to support and develop the young, emerging ruckmen at the club.