SYDNEY midfielder Dan Hannebery says the carrot of a five-year contract and a St Kilda list that's "not as bad as people think" drew him to seek a trade to the Saints. 

The 27-year-old has three years remaining on his current contract but confirmed he is dealing exclusively with St Kilda in a move that would tie him there until 2023. 

Hannebery told the launch of NAB AFL Trade Radio he thought he'd be a Swan for life but after discussions with coach John Longmire and football manager Tom Harley, believed a move back to his home town could be a win for both clubs.


Hannebery said he had a great relationship with both men. 

"I think the time was right for me to come down, see family and friends, have a fresh start," he said. 

"Both parties probably think it's the right call.

"My body is feeling great … but you never know what's going to happen two or three years down the track, it's a combat sport. 

"The carrot of an extra two years played a major factor."

Hannebery described the Swans as a "smart, successful" club that had something "brewing" during Trade Period, although he didn't know exactly what.

The three-time All Australian was optimistic about the Saints' ability to rebound from a disappointing 2018 season.

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"They're not as bad as people think," he said.

"They pushed Richmond all the way at the MCG late in the fourth quarter, and also beat Melbourne who are premiership favourites.

"You can't tell me that team is no good when they are doing that to really good sides. 

"They've got a great young list. Tim Membrey, Jade Gresham, Jack Steven – they're bona fide stars.

"Seb Ross has announced himself as an All Australian-type player this year, and they've got a number of other players that are developing.

"Hunter Clark is another one who's going to be an absolute star. I've done my homework. 

"Plus, their facilities are outstanding. 

"It might not end up that next year they play finals football, but, I've got no doubt that with the people they've got involved in the football club they'll be pushing their way up the ladder."