AFL: Gold Coast’s sneaky list management move goes horribly wrong as Hugh Greenwood signs with North Melbourne

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
Hugh Greenwood ran fourth in the Gold Coast’s best-and-fairest count in 2020. Pic: Michael Klein
Camera IconHugh Greenwood ran fourth in the Gold Coast’s best-and-fairest count in 2020. Pic: Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

The Gold Coast Suns’ attempt to pull off a sneaky list management move has backfired in stunning fashion, with temporarily delisted midfielder Hugh Greenwood slipping through the cracks to sign with North Melbourne for 2022.

The Suns delisted Greenwood along with Rory Thompson and Jez McLennan at the end of the 2021 season to allow for greater flexibility at the national draft table later this month but had been planning on picking the trio back up in the rookie draft.

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“I would like to thank Rory, Hugh and Jez for agreeing to this temporary measure which will allow the club to redraft them to our list ahead of next season,” general manager of player talent Craig Cameron said in a statement.

As recently as last week, Greenwood was committed to remaining with the Suns for 2022, going as far as to post a stronglynworded statement about the list management strategy on social media.

“Still On The Primary List/Still On The Same ContractStill Been Medically Cleared To Train/Play For Over A Month/Still At The Suns/Still See Everyone Round 1/ Was happy to cop the odd clickbait article & social nuff if it meant assisting the club’s overall list strategy,” Greenwood tweeted on Thursday.

Collingwood vs Gold Coast Suns
Camera IconHugh Greenwood ran fourth in the Gold Coast’s best-and-fairest count in 2020. Pic: Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

Greenwood may well run out in the first weekend of the 2022 season as he expected to, but it won’t be in a Suns jersey after the Kangaroos approached him while he was waiting to be redrafted.

His move to North Melbourne was finalised on Monday,

“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.

“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.”

The Suns wished Greenwood well for his playing future.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Hugh for his commitment and contribution to the football club and our young group over the past two seasons,” Cameron said.

“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.

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

A one-time NBA hopeful, Greenwood lands at Arden Street after beginning his career with Adelaide in 2017.

He joined the Suns in 2020 and polled fourth in the club’s best-and-fairest count that year, but an MCL injury cut his final season on the glitter strip short.

Heading to North Melbourne for David Noble’s second season in the hot seat, Greenwood adds size to a list that has already acquired highly rated Richmond tall forward Callum Coleman-Jones for 2022.

North Melbourne’s general manager of football talent Brady Rawlings said the club looked forward to welcoming Greenwood for the pre-season.

“Clearly we’ve gone down the path of bringing in youth the past couple of years but we’re always on the lookout to improve the list,” Rawlings said.

“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.

“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 Street.”

Originally published as AFL: Gold Coast’s sneaky list management move goes horribly wrong as Hugh Greenwood signs with North Melbourne

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