CRAIG Moller has been on Fremantle’s radar for almost four years; now the Cronulla Sharks junior will link with the AFL club full-time after signing a two-year rookie contract.
Moller, 18, was recruited as an add-on rookie after joining the club on a three-year scholarship when he was 14.
That scholarship included travel to Fremantle twice a year and at least three training trips to Melbourne.
More importantly it granted him a pathway to becoming a professional AFL player.
‘‘There was a bit of interest from other clubs but I always wanted to go to Fremantle,’’ Moller said.
‘‘I train with the full-time squad but I’m not eligible to play in the senior team unless an injury opens up in the senior list, then I can be promoted.’’
The former Lucas Heights Community School student played for the Sharks before switching to Sydney University in the under-16s.
He spent part of this season playing for the GWS reserves.
‘‘I think because of the scholarship I’ve been in and around the club for the past four years so I’ve got to know all the boys pretty well,’’ Moller said. ‘‘Pre-season has been tough with a lot of fitness.’’
Two hip surgeries to each side of his body his kept Moller from doing contact training.
He expects to join the full squad after the Christmas break.
‘‘I’m feeling pretty good and ready to go but the physiotherapist’s are holding me back,’’ Moller said.
‘‘Because of the surgeries I’ve been part of the rehab group, which has meant a lot of running and technique.
‘‘Realistically I think in 2014 I will be pushing for a senior spot. You never know.’’
While many players are warned about overindulging during the festive season, Moller needs to add about 10 kilograms to his frame.
Fremantle staff have asked the 85-kilogram ruckman to alter his diet.
‘‘I’ve started to do a lot of that recently,’’ Moller said.
‘‘There’s a lot of things you want to eat that you can’t — simple things such as chocolate. For me it’s just vegetables — and a lot of them.’’
Moller, who is living with teammates Jon Griffin, Lee Spurr and Cam Sutcliffe, will return to Sydney for eight days before training resumes next month.