FORMER Gold Coast captain Steven May is a Demon after Melbourne satisfied the Suns with the spoils of its Jesse Hogan trade.
Melbourne had been targeting an A-grade key defender after its defence was exposed by Eagles spearheads Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling in this year's second preliminary final.
The Demons are confident they have landed that player after trading pick No.6 for May and defender Kade Kolodjashnij, who was 2013's No.5 draft pick.
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The Suns remained adamant all Trade Period they would only release May, 26, for a strong return, knowing they would receive a first-round compensation pick if he left as a free agent at the end of 2019 – a pick most thought could have fallen as early as No.2.
Gold Coast now has picks No.2, No.3 and No.6 in this year's NAB AFL Draft, which should give it a strong platform to rebuild in the wake of May's departure and that of his former co-captain, Tom Lynch, to Richmond.
Melbourne had to rely on brokering a deal for Hogan with Fremantle to be any hope of snaring May and those talks were protracted and looked to have fallen over last Friday.
However, when Fremantle released pick No.6 and No.23 to Melbourne early on Wednesday afternoon, Hogan became a Docker and the Demons had the early selection they needed to claim May, who joins the club on a five-year deal.
May was one of Gold Coast's foundation players, having joined the club as a local talent access selection in 2010.
He played 123 games for the Suns over eight seasons – only Jarrod Harbrow, Lynch and David Swallow have played more for the expansion club – and finished third in the best and fairest count in 2015 before serving as co-captain from 2017-18.
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Kolodjashnij joins Melbourne on a three-year deal after a difficult two seasons when he has been hampered by concussion and neck problems.
However, the 23-year-old is confident he is over those problems, having returned to the Suns' senior team late in 2018.
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The Tasmanian played 78 games in five seasons at Metricon Stadium.
He was a NAB AFL Rising Star nominee in his debut season, 2014, and finished runner-up in the Suns' best and fairest award the following season.
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