BRADLEY Hill is finally a Saint.
No deal in this year's Telstra AFL Trade Period experienced more twists, turns, surprise developments and moving parts as Hill's mid-contract departure from Fremantle.
The 26-year-old crossed to the Dockers on a five-year deal at the end of the 2016 season, after winning three premierships as a Hawk but this year was clearly the gun wingman's best as an individual.
Hill will return to Victoria with his homesick girlfriend – leaving his older brother Stephen at Fremantle – and be a big part of St Kilda's push to return to finals for the first time since 2011.
His passage from Cockburn to Moorabbin was eventually finalised on Wednesday afternoon, with the Dockers receiving picks 10 and 58 in this year's NAB AFL National Draft, a future second-round selection and future fourth-round selection, as well as Blake Acres.
The Saints recieve a future third-round selection in return.
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Saints list manager James Gallagher said he always knew it would take a "significant deal".
"To secure a player of Bradley’s calibre is extremely exciting for the club and our supporters," Gallagher said.
"Players with his combination of speed, running power and class are rare, and his inclusion will immediately add a different element to our midfield.
"He wins a lot of the ball, uses it well and has performed at a very high level over a long period of time, and pleasingly believes his best football is ahead of him.
"We started the Trade Period knowing it would take a significant deal to satisfy the Dockers.
"Thankfully, we have been able to reach an agreement which reflects Bradley’s value as a contracted player and one of the game’s best outside midfielders."
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Dockers football manager Peter Bell said both clubs would be thrilled with the deal.
"It's a big trade and it took a long time but we're really pleased with the result from a Fremantle perspective and I'm sure St Kilda are," he said.
"They get a fantastic wingman and it's disappointing to lose a player of Brad's calibre – he's a Doig medallist – but it was a big offer that St Kilda lobbed to him and his partner and Sam wanted to come home as well and I think our fans will be pleased with what we were able to receive in return."
Acres became part of the trade negotiations on a whirlwind Tuesday, when the 24-year-old West Australian flew to Perth before passing a medical screening on trade Deadline Day.
The decision wasn't driven by Acres, who was contracted for next season but set to have fewer senior opportunities because of Hill's arrival and incoming Swan Zak Jones.
Acres' medical wasn't the sole factor that delayed the trade being finalised, with pick 58 – an agreed upon part of the deal two days ago – finding its way to St Kilda via Jack Steven's last-day trade to Geelong.
There were doubts along the way that the Saints could land Hill, who was their No.1 target.
They were the most ambitious club in this year's exchange period, having also taken aim at Port Adelaide talls Dougal Howard and Paddy Ryder, Sydney's Jones and Tiger Dan Butler.
Fremantle long demanded St Kilda's pick six be part of any Hill deal once his trade intentions became clear, but the Saints chose last week to package it with No.59 to acquire the Giants' Nos.12 and 18.
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AFL.com.au revealed on the same day the Dockers' wish for two first-round draft selections in the Hill negotiations – a request that was swiftly rejected.
Those two Greater Western Sydney picks became the key planks in St Kilda securing Howard, Ryder and No.10 from the Power on Tuesday.
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However, that followed advanced discussions of a three-way deal involving the Saints, Fremantle and Port Adelaide that was scuppered as the Hill deal dragged on.