AFL: THE Gold Coast Suns have landed selection six in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft after completing a trade with Richmond in exchange for midfielder Dion Prestia.
The clubs have also swapped second round picks with the Suns passing selection 24 in this year’s draft to the Tigers in exchange for Richmond’s 2017 future 2nd round selection.
Prestia, 24, penned a letter to members and fans in August, confirming his intention to return home to Melbourne during the trade period.
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General Manager – Football Operations, Marcus Ashcroft, said the GC SUNS were satisfied an agreement could be reached with Richmond.
“We have been clear with Richmond throughout negotiations that we expected a fair and reasonable exchange for Dion,” Ashcroft said.
“We are focused on making list management decisions that will improve our football club, and are pleased we have been able to finalise an agreement with Richmond that will enable us to do just that.
Ashcroft acknowledged Prestia’s contribution to the SUNS.
“Dion played a key role in the establishment of the Gold Coast Suns, and was a member of our inaugural AFL team when we played our first game against Carlton at the Gabba in 2011,” Ashcroft said.
“He is part of our history, and will always be welcome back to our football club. We thank Dion for his contribution to our club and community and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
Prestia nominated Richmond as his preferred destination at the end of the 2016 home-and-away season to continue his football career.
The 24-year-old was drafted to the Gold Coast Suns with the Club’s first round selection in the 2010 National AFL Draft. In the six seasons since, he has played 95 games and kicked 30 goals.
In the 2016 home-and-away season, the inside midfielder averaged 25.9 disposals (10.4 contested), 5.4 tackles, and 4.2 clearances per game.
Richmond’s General Manager – Football Talent, Dan Richardson said the Club is thrilled to secure Prestia to Tigerland.
“We identified Dion earlier this year as a player that we wanted at our football club, he’s a power runner, highly competitive and impacts games significantly,” Richardson said.
“Dion’s management made it clear to us that he was keen to return to Victoria to be closer to his family, and we’re really pleased for our Club that he chose Richmond as his preferred destination.
“At 24 years of age, Dion has many years of good football ahead of him, he’s also a person of great character, and being vice-captain at the Gold Coast Suns, he has great leadership qualities also.
“We thank both the Gold Coast Suns and Dion’s manager, Marty Pask for their cooperation in getting the deal done, and we look forward to seeing Dion running around in the Yellow and Black very soon.”