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Hugh Greenwood joins North Melbourne after delisting by Gold Coast Suns ahead of 2021 draft

Gold Coast has been left with egg on its face after a ploy to delist and re-draft Hugh Greenwood resulted in the rugged midfielder joining North Melbourne instead.

In order to give themselves the minimum number of list places in the draft per AFL rules, the Suns delisted Greenwood and fellow contracted teammate Rory Thompson with the understanding that both would be re-drafted. He had a year to run on his original deal.

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However, the Suns were blindsided as North Melbourne swooped in and offered Greenwood a three-year deal worth approximately $400,000 per year, per The Age.

While the club was widely ridiculed for the apparent list management bungle, the Suns insist they were not caught off-guard by Greenwood’s decision to join North.

“We sat down and had an open conversation about the offer and what was best for both Hugh, his family and the Gold Coast Suns,” Gold Coast’s GM of Player Talent and Strategy, Craig Cameron, said in a statement.

“As a group, the decision was made to support Hugh in his wish to join North Melbourne and extend his AFL playing career.”

It was a stunning turn of events for Greenwood, who tweeted out last week that he was simply happy to help the club with its list management process.

“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,” he said in the Suns’ statement.

“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.”

The acquisition of the 29-year-old is a massive coup for North Melbourne, with the club continuing its rebuild by strengthening its list.

While the addition of a mature-aged player is a departure from North’s general list strategy, club GM Brady Rawlings said the opportunity to add a player of Greenwood’s calibre for free was too good to pass up.

“At 191 centimetres, Hugh’s a big-bodied midfielder who can push forward or back. Every club is on the lookout for this type of player so we knew we had to act quickly when he became available,” Rawlings said in a North statement.

“Hugh liked what we’re doing here at North and wanted to be part of it. It’s fair to say we were pretty pumped when he told us he was keen to come to Arden St.

“When he came onto the market it was unanimous among our list management team that we should accelerate our interest. Once everything checked out we looked to get his signature.”

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Greenwood will slot right into coach David Noble’s midfield alongside the likes of best and fairest winner Jy Simpkin, Tarryn Thomas and presumptive No.1 pick Jason Horne-Francis.

He leaves the Suns having played 32 games in two seasons after joining the club via a trade from the Adelaide Crows at the end of 2019.

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