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Suns' staggering list management own goal sees star poached by Kangaroos

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15th November, 2021
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Important Gold Coast Suns midfielder Hugh Greenwood will be at North Melbourne in 2022, as the club’s risky list management move spectacularly blew up in its own face.

The Suns last week chose to delist Greenwood, who was contracted for 2022, and then re-draft him in the upcoming rookie draft. The club said the decision was to afford them greater flexibility with their list management ahead of the AFL draft.

“We’ve had a deliberate strategy on improving our list over the past four years and that hasn’t changed during this year’s trade and draft period,” Suns list manager Craig Cameron said when news broke of Greenwood’s delisting.

“Having a high number of contracted players, we have had to explore all possible options to comply with AFL requirements.”

Greenwood himself expressed his support of the Suns’ move, saying on social media he was ‘happy to help’ the club navigate the situation; while taking aim at ‘the odd clickbait article and social [media] nuff’ for exaggerating the situation.

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However, it seems now fears from fans were well-founded, with the Kangaroos picking up the 29-year old’s two-year free contract as a delisted free agent, beating the Suns to the punch.

Channel Seven’s Mitch Cleary broke the story, while comparing the situation to a similar one three years ago, which cost the Suns another star in Jarryd Lyons.

Lyons was signed by Brisbane as a delisted free agent despite under a lengthy contract at the Suns; he has since gone on to become a key player in a strong Lions outfit, averaging 28 disposals a match in 2021 to make the initial All Australian 40-man squad.

Greenwood averaged a league-best 8.6 tackles per game in 2021, after leading the competition for total tackles in 2020 with 117 in 17 games. His arrival will be a major boost for the Kangaroos’ developing midfield, with the club expected to add gun youngster Jason Horne-Francis to the mix with their prized number one draft pick later this month.

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The hard nut suffered a season-ending knee injury late last year, but is expected to be available for the start of North Melbourne’s pre-season training.

In a parting message, Greenwood thanked the Suns for rejuvenating his career after crossing from Adelaide at the end of 2019, saying the prospect of greater job security and a senior list spot at the Kangaroos were behind the move.

“The Suns have been transparent with me and my manager throughout this whole process and I was fully committed to doing everything I could to ensure the club continued to take steps in its journey towards success,” Greenwood said.

“It’s been a whirlwind past 48 hours, however the opportunity to extend my career and set my young family up with North Melbourne was one too good to turn down.

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“I’d like to thank the Gold Coast Suns and its members for all the support they have provided me and my family over the past two years.

“I strongly believe the football club is now in a far better position than when I first arrived and I wish everyone here all the best for what will be an exciting few years ahead.”

Greenwood played 32 games for the Suns in his two years on the Gold Coast. Prior to that, he played 51 games for the Crows, including the 2017 grand final, after debuting as a mature-aged recruit that year.

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