DAYNE Beams is a Magpie again after Brisbane agreed to release him from his contract just minutes before Wednesday night's trade deadline.
As time ticked by on the final day of the NAB AFL Trade Period, it appeared Collingwood's bid to convince the Lions to release Beams from the final two years of his contract would fail.
However, with less than five minutes before the 8.30pm deadline, a deal was finalised in which Collingwood received Beams and picks No.41 and No.44 and sent Brisbane pick No. 18 and No.56 and its future first-round pick.
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Beams' return to Collingwood after four years at the Gabba was the subject of speculation for much of the 2018 season.
It appeared the former Lions captain had recommitted to fulfilling his contract when he delivered an emotional speech at last month's best and fairest count pledging his loyalty to the club.
However, AFL.com.au's Damian Barrett broke the news last week that Beams wanted to return to Collingwood.
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The midfielder did not formally request a trade but talks then began in earnest between the clubs, with Beams' manager, Paul Connors, acknowledging it was up to Collingwood to come up with a trade that satisfied Brisbane.
Beams, who played his junior football at Southport, left Collingwood at the end of 2014 to return home to Queensland so he could be close to his ill father, Philip.
The Lions paid a high price to land Beams – picks No.5 and No.25 and Jack Crisp – while his lucrative six-year deal was also heavily front-ended.
After Beams' father passed away earlier this year, he endured an extremely trying 2018 season and decided he would ultimately return to Melbourne, whether that was at the end of this year or at the end of his contract.
The 2012 All Australian played 58 games in his four seasons at the Gabba, including just two in an injury-raved 2016.
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He was the joint winner of the Lions' 2015 best and fairest award and finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018.
Drafted with pick No.29 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft, Beams played 110 games in his first six seasons with Collingwood, winning the 2012 best and fairest award and playing in the 2010 premiership team.
Collingwood list manager Ned Guy revealed the length of Beams’ contract was yet to be determined, but it would be finalised in coming days.
Guy admitted he was relieved to get his man, revealing there were times when he thought the deal would fall through on trade deadline day.
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"We're really excited that 'Beamsy' is coming home," Guy said.
"The key focus for us through this little period was retention of the list, which we think's really strong and fell agonisingly short a couple of weeks ago.
"When the opportunity for Beamsy popped up, it was just too good to refuse, so we had to try to make it happen."
Beams was naturally pleased with the news.
"Just over text message, he's really excited. He's really excited," Guy said.