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Bulldog bombshell: skipper Ryan Griffen requests trade to GWS

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WESTERN Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen has dropped a huge bombshell by requesting a move to Greater Western Sydney. 

The 28-year-old announced his intentions through his management on Thursday with a year left to run on his current contract. 

The statement said Griffen had requested the trade "after ongoing consultation with the Western Bulldogs, his family and management". 

"At 28, Ryan feels a fresh start outside Melbourne after 202 games with the Western Bulldogs is the right thing for him," the statement said. 

"The decision has not come lightly and has been extremely difficult for all involved."

The move comes amid ongoing industry speculation of a rift between Griffen and coach Brendan McCartney. 

It is understood Griffen returned from Italy last night and spoke with his management about a potential move from the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs released a short statement on Twitter a short time later, confirming Griffen's request and vowing to hold him to his contract. 

"The Western Bulldogs can confirm that Ryan Griffen’s management have communicated to the Club that Ryan wants to pursue a trade," the club said. 

"The Western Bulldogs' position is that Ryan is a contracted player and he will be required to fulfil his contract in 2015."

Earlier this week, new North Melbourne midfielder Shaun Higgins said he felt he left the Dogs on "good terms" and his relationship with McCartney was "fine". 

But, he emphasised he didn't want to "get involved in what happened in the past". 

The Giants, having already traded Jono O'Rourke and pick No.43 to Hawthorn in exchange for selections No.19 and 40, are unsurprisingly keen to facilitate a trade. 

"We will now work with the Bulldogs to do a fair deal in the interests of all parties during the trade period," Giants CEO David Matthews said. 

Griffen has played 202 games for the Bulldogs after making his debut in 2005. 

His management indicated his decision was made "with the intent that the Western Bulldogs are duly compensated for granting Ryan a release from the final year of his contract".