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Hawthorn midfielder Mitch Hallahan has moved to Gold Coast

it's going to be a wonderful experience for myself to learn and play alongside ... arguably, the greatest midfielder in the game in Gary Ablett
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HAWTHORN and Gold Coast have finalised a trade sending midfielder Mitch Hallahan to the Suns in exchange for picks No.47 and 49 in the upcoming NAB AFL Draft.

In a deal that took significant time to finalise, Hallahan joined the Suns on the final day of the NAB AFL Trade Period with less than two-and-a-half hours remaining before the 2pm deadline.

The 22-year-old said the prospect of playing with Suns superstar Gary Ablett and the club's promising midfield group was a key factor in his decision. 

"I think it's going to be a wonderful experience for myself to learn and play alongside not only the young exciting talent they have in (David) Swallow, (Jaeger) O'Meara, (Dion) Prestia, but also probably, arguably, the greatest midfielder in the game in Gary Ablett," Hallahan told NAB AFL Trade Radio.

"I think it's going to be really good for my football in the coming years."

Hallahan, who played six games in 2014, was contracted for next season with Hawthorn but he has been released to take up a three-year offer with Gold Coast.  
 
Hallahan was drafted with pick No.38 in the 2010 Draft and won the JJ Liston Trophy as the VFL's best and fairest player in 2013.

Hawthorn's recruitment of Jono O'Rourke via a trade last week made Hallahan reassess his position at the Hawks, and he said former coach Alastair Clarkson had been fantastic in his communication and support. 

"I can't thank Clarko enough," Hallahan said.

"He's been honest right the way throughout the four years but in particular the last couple of weeks. He's been the most honest person. He's hit me between the eyes and he's been great for me in my development." 

Hawthorn recruiting and list manager Graham Wright said Hallahan's decision to leave was based on playing more senior games.
 
"Mitch has made a solid contribution in his four years at Hawthorn and we understand that he leaves to pursue an opportunity to play regular senior football for the Suns," he said.
 
"He is much admired and respected by our playing and coaching group and we wish him well in his next AFL opportunity.
 
"Securing two third-round draft picks gives us some options in the remaining trade window and the upcoming AFL draft."