GREATER Western Sydney has added more experience to its impressive young list with the acquisition of former Richmond star Brett Deledio, who has taken a pay cut to join the Giants.
Deledio became a Giant just minutes before the deadline of this year's NAB AFL trade period, in exchange for a first- and third-round selection at next year's draft.
The 29-year-old joins GWS on a three-year deal after playing 243 games in 12 seasons with the Tigers, where the speedy utility won two club champion awards, and was a dual All Australian.
Giants general manager of football Wayne Campbell said the club was extremely fortunate to have a player of Deledio's quality on board.
"We're delighted that Brett (Deledio) has selected the Giants as his club of choice and feel that his experience and leadership will be invaluable," Campbell said.
"Brett is unquestionably one of the competition's elite players and has shown over a long period of time an ability to play a variety of roles which we think will complement our list well.
"Our playing group has benefitted in recent years from the addition of quality experienced players like Shaw, Mumford, Johnson and Griffen and Brett's arrival continues this trend.
"To secure a player of Brett's ability while also maintaining a strong position in next month's national draft has resulted in a very positive trade period for the club."
With so much talent available to senior coach Leon Cameron next year, Campbell said Deledio's ability to play anywhere on the ground is invaluable.
"Half-forward would be nice for him, he's played a lot of footy there," he said.
"We see him as a forward, and we think he can complement what we've got down there.
"He'll play a little bit of wing, a little bit of midfield, and a probably a bit of half-back as well."
It's another significant coup for the Giants, with Deledio's relationship with Campbell, list manager Craig Cameron, and Leon Cameron all contributing to his recruitment.
Campbell said that Deledio told the club he would like to join them after a visit to Sydney this week, and the star had taken a pay cut to become a GWS player.
"He understood that if he wants to be at a successful place towards the back end of his career, he has to make a sacrifice, and he has," he said.
"That indicates that he's here for the right reasons."
Deledio seemed destined to find himself at Geelong for most of this year's trade period, but the two clubs were unable to negotiate a deal.
Richmond's list boss Dan Richardson said it was disappointing to lose one of the club's favourite sons, but Deledio's exit paved the way for the Tigers to get former Geelong midfielder Josh Caddy to Punt Road.
"It's a byproduct of free agency," he said.
"He (Deledio) seemed ready for a fresh start and in the end, to get a first- and third-round pick next year was a fair deal.
"We've got to balance between immediate needs for next year and future needs with draft picks coming in for next year as well.
"We were comfortable from the outset of doing a straight swap for Brett if he wanted to go to Geelong.
"That fell through, but through those discussions with Josh (Caddy) and Geelong, it became apparent that Josh had a strong interest in joining us if the opportunity arose."