AN INDIFFERENT end to 2019 and a desire for a new beginning was behind former Greater Western Sydney winger Adam Tomlinson's move to Melbourne.
The new Demon was signed as an unrestricted free agent on Monday after eight years at the Giants, returning to his home city of Melbourne.
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Tomlinson was an inaugural Giant, playing in the club's first ever AFL match, and did it the hard way, waiting 21 games before he tasted success.
"I finished playing footy 10 days ago, so it's been an emotional month in terms of the way it panned out when I was playing," Tomlinson told reporters.
"It's always going to be sad. I spent eight years at the footy club, and they developed and shaped who I am today. I thank them for everything but [I'm] very, very excited to be here."
Tomlinson played 25 of a possible 26 matches for the Giants this year, dropped for the elimination final before rebounding to play out the finals series.
He said the potential to move clubs had been in the back of his mind but wasn't made concrete until the end of the season.
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"It's sort of hard to say (how long it was a possibility), because I didn't speak to my manager through the finals period," Tomlinson said.
"Obviously a lot was going on behind closed doors, but I still had the intention to stay at the footy club.
"At the same time, I knew I had to do the right thing for myself, and a fresh start was what was needed after the form I was in. I went up and down over the last nine weeks and it was something I needed to do."
Tomlinson is crossing from a club that qualified for the Grand Final to a side that finished second-last, but he's backing Melbourne in to rebound after a horror 2019.
"I caught up with 'Goody' (Dees coach Simon Goodwin) a fair few times. The way he spoke to me and the characteristics of the footy club aligned with who I am. The role he set forth to me and what he presented was really encouraging, which sparked the intention," he said.
"I come from a club that had the most talent in the AFL. A lot of people talk about talent, but it doesn't mean much if you're not willing to work hard.
"The way [Melbourne] played in 2018 just showed how good they can be with such a young list. Everyone speaks about the amount of surgeries they had during the last off-season, and that doesn't help when you have so many people have a small off-season."
After playing, in his words, "every position under the sun" at the Giants, Tomlinson is looking forward to some regularity on the wing in the red and blue.
"It's something that's been really good for me, but at the same time, it might have left me out of the side at times," he said.
"[Goodwin] spoke about playing a consistent role, having a purpose over pre-season and once games start, being cemented in that spot and getting some continuity with my footy.
"Steve May's got a ripping left foot out of the backline, I won't mind getting hit on the wing with that, it's pretty good. Everyone looks at Max Gawn, he's one of the best rucks in the comp, so to have him there will be massive."
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