AS NICK Malceski prepares to move north and join Gold Coast, he does so after completing the best season of his career, earning his first All Australian selection as a 30-year-old.
The classy half-back will be expected to carry that form into 2015 with the Suns after signing a three-year deal
, but what are realistic expectations for the left-footer at his new football home?
Looking at other players who have changed clubs in their 30s, history would suggest Malceski has already reached his peak. But do his unique circumstances after significant time on the sidelines mean there is better football still to come?
Brian Lake's move to Hawthorn, where he has won back-to-back premierships and a Norm Smith Medal, is the best modern example of a late-career move working well.
Cameron Bruce, meanwhile, crossed to the Hawks in 2011 and managed just 10 games in two seasons, seeing out his playing days quietly.
So how will Malceski's switch measure up to these late-career changes?
Paul Chapman – Geelong to Essendon, 2014
After three premierships with the Cats and 251 games, Chapman changed clubs as a 31-year-old, handed a one-year deal with the Bombers with the option for a second, which he has triggered. Played 20 games in 2014, both forward and in the midfield.
Brian Lake – Western Bulldogs to Hawthorn, 2013
The key defender narrowly missed out on playing in Grand Finals in 2008, 2009 and 2010, with the Bulldogs knocked out in three straight preliminary finals. His move to Hawthorn ahead of the 2013 season, as a 31-year-old, couldn't have worked out better, playing in back-to-back premierships and winning a Norm Smith Medal.
Josh Hunt – Geelong to Greater Western Sydney, 2014
Delisted by Geelong at the end of 2013, Hunt was handed a second chance as a 31-year-old with GWS. The defender played 198 games with Geelong and reached his 200-game milestone with the Giants, playing 14 games with the club in one season before retiring.
Chad Cornes – Port Adelaide to Greater Western Sydney, 2012
A premiership player with the Power in 2004, Cornes reversed his retirement to join GWS as a 32-year-old, becoming a valuable senior player on a young list. The move, which added 16 games to his career tally of 255, aided his transition into coaching.
Star defender Chad Cornes has become a valuable off-field asset to the Giants. Picture: AFL Media
Chris Tarrant – Fremantle to Collingwood, 2011
Having originally moved from Collingwood to Fremantle ahead of the 2007 season, Tarrant returned to the Magpies as a 30-year-old four years later. He played 35 games in two seasons with the Magpies, including the losing 2011 Grand Final.
Cameron Bruce – Melbourne to Hawthorn, 2011
Perhaps the best thing to come out of Bruce's move to the Hawks as a 31-year-old was the path it paved for him to enter coaching ranks. A classy Demon over 224 games, Bruce added just 10 games in two seasons with Hawthorn but he is now an assistant coach with the club.
Daniel Bradshaw – Brisbane Lions to Sydney Swans, 2010
A dual premiership forward with the Lions, Bradshaw was selected by the Swans in the 2010 Pre-Season Draft, moving to his second club as a 31-year-old. He managed just nine games in 2010 and retired in 2011 after battling knee troubles.
Barry Hall – Sydney Swans to the Western Bulldogs, 2010
The Western Bulldogs signed Hall as a 33-year-old from Sydney in their pursuit of breakthrough premiership. Hall started his career with St Kilda (88 games) and won a premiership with the Swans (162 games) before notching 39 games in two seasons for Bulldogs (including a preliminary final in 2010). He became the only player in history to kick 100 goals or more for three different clubs.
Mick Martyn – North Melbourne to Carlton, 2003
After playing in two premierships under Denis Pagan at the Kangaroos, Martin followed him to the Blues as a 34-year-old, extending his career by 13 games in one season. The Blues finished 15th.
North champion Mick Martyn finished his career under Denis Pagan at Carlton. Picture: AFL Media
Damian Monkhorst – Collingwood to St Kilda, 2000
After 205 games with the Magpies, Monkhorst was traded to St Kilda as a 30-year-old, spending one season with the club and playing 10 games. The Saints finished last, so it wasn't a fruitful move for the tough big man.
Nicky Winmar – St Kilda to the Western Bulldogs, 1999
A star at St Kilda, Winmar played 230 games before leaving at the end of the 1998 season and joining the Western Bulldogs as a 33-year-old. He managed 21 games in 1999 before retiring halfway through a two-year contract.
Dermott Brereton – Sydney Swans to Collingwood, 1995
The champion Hawthorn forward crossed to the Swans for the 1994 season, but frequent suspensions prevented him from having an impact at the club. He then moved to Collingwood as a 30-year-old ahead of the 1995 season, playing 15 games in one season and kicking 30 goals.
Doug Hawkins – Western Bulldogs to Fitzroy, 1995
A champion wingman synonymous with Footscray, Hawkins spent one season with Fitzroy at the end of his career, crossing ahead of the 1995 season as a 34-year-old. He played 21 games and no finals with the Lions.
Alex Jesaulenko – Carlton to St Kilda, 1980
'Jezza' fell out with the Blues after 13 seasons and 256 games, moving to St Kilda as a 34-year-old ahead of the 1980 season. He became playing coach of the Saints after Mike Patterson was sacked after round two. He played 23 games in two seasons with the club.
Stan Alves – Melbourne to North Melbourne, 1977
A brilliant wingman who played 226 games but no finals for Melbourne, Alves crossed to the Kangaroos after a bitter dispute at the VFL Appeals Board. Joining his second club as a 30-year-old, he played 40 games and 11 finals with the Roos, playing in a premiership in his first season.
John Rantall – North Melbourne to South Melbourne, 1976
The half-back flanker played 170 games in 10 seasons with South Melbourne (1963-72) and another 70 games with North Melbourne between 1973 and 1975. He then returned to the Swans as a 32-year-old premiership player, playing another 86 games in four seasons. He then moved to Fitzroy in 1980 and for a time held the League games record after playing six games.
Doug Wade – Geelong to North Melbourne, 1973
After 208 games with Geelong, Wade crossed to North Melbourne as a 31-year-old under the 10-year rule and played 59 games between 1973 and 1975. He overcame injuries to kick four goals in the 1975 premiership.
Dermott Brereton celebrates a Swans win with Simon Minton-Connell in 1994. Picture: AFL Media