Josh Bruce has signed for St Kilda. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
He was one of the first players recruited by Greater Western Sydney, but former Eastlake junior Josh Bruce is set to sign with St Kilda for the next three years to chase a permanent AFL spot.
Sources close to Bruce confirmed reports the out-of-contract 21-year-old will head to Moorabbin after 14 AFL games for the Giants.
The rebuilding Saints have made no secret of their desire to recruit key tall defenders over the trade period, and Bruce fits the bill.
Greater Western Sydney and St Kilda have yet to come to a trade agreement, but it is understood to be a fait accompli.
Bruce has been in and out of the Giants' AFL side this year, playing 11 games after debuting in 2012. It is understood he agonised over the move, but the fact he is stuck behind a host of high draft picks in the back line was a major factor.
Bruce's parents, Christine and Peter relocated to Melbourne last year, making a move south all the more tempting.
A GWS spokesman said the club was unwilling to discuss Bruce's future: ''We're not going to make any comment at this stage because there's still a lot to play out and the trade period doesn't start until after the grand final.''
It is a big loss for the Giants, who offered Bruce a contract extension.
He is just the second required young player to leave the Giants after Jack Hombsch moved to Port Adelaide this season.
Bruce is the first Canberra-born player to play for the Giants, who have a 10-year deal to play four games in the capital each year.
GWS list manager Stephen Silvagni told Fairfax Media in July that Bruce was a required player for 2014. ''Josh is someone we'd like to keep and he's certainly come on in leaps and bounds this year,'' he said. ''He's certainly in our plans.''
Bruce played 11 of the past 17 games for the Giants this year, but he looms as St Kilda's first significant signing after it won just five games this season.