GOLD Coast has pulled off a recruiting coup, luring Sydney Swans defender Nick Malceski as an unrestricted free agent.
Malceski 30, has signed a three-year deal with the Suns after completing the best season of his career, playing all of the Swans' 25 games and earning his first All Australian selection.
He had been weighing up whether to remain at the Swans since their Grand Final loss to Hawthorn and he told coach John Longmire on Monday afternoon that he wanted to move to the Suns.
Gold Coast list manager Scott Clayton said Malceski's decision to switch to the Suns was a huge vote of confidence in the club.
“A great leader who brings premiership experience, Nick’s signing delivers us with a player who is at the top of his game, who we believe will make a major contribution over the next three years,” he said.
Malceski said the opportunity to become a leader among a relatively young group was appealing.
"I am sad to have to leave Sydney," he said.
"It has been great to me and I owe the club so much. I came to the club as an 18-year-old and have become the person I am today because of this place and its people and culture.
"To have mentors like John Longmire, Brett Kirk and Adam Goodes was such a privilege and those habits, values and behaviours are forever with me.
"But this was too good an opportunity to miss both for my family and me personally. At Sydney I was surrounded by a depth of great leaders and at the Suns it is all new and young. I am looking forward to helping them build a sustainable and successful team."
Malceski will also reportedly join the Suns' academy as a development coach. His manager, Ben Niall, told The Age that the opportunity to develop a coaching career with Gold Coast was another significant attraction.
Swans general manager of football Dean Moore said it was disappointing to lose Malceski, but wished him well.
"We would have liked to have seen Nick finish his career with the Swans and I'm sure he would have too," Moore said.
"We put a really good offer to Nick but unfortunately he's been offered a deal too good to refuse.
"While obviously disappointed to lose someone of Nick's caliber, who arguably had his best season this year finishing with All Australian selection, we understand his reasons for accepting the Suns’ offer.
"We thank Nick for his contribution to the club and he will always be remembered for his outstanding 2012 Grand Final and the role he played at eh club over the past 12 seasons.
"We wish Nick all the best in the future with the Suns."
Despite luring their main man Malceski, the Suns expect to remain active during the NAB AFL Trade Period.
"This was certainly our priority," Clayton said.
"We'll see what else the week brings, we've got an open mind.
"As an organisation we're agile enough that if an opportunity arises that we like, we'll go for it."
Clayton confirmed the Suns met with Port on the opening day of the trade period to discuss want-away ruckman Daniel Gorringe.
Gold Coast has not ruled out keeping Gorringe, who returns from an overseas holiday on Tuesday.
"They certainly spoke about him – as you know they've got Paddy Ryder happening – so we didn't progress much other than we said we'll catch up again," Clayton said.
"We haven't given up keeping Dan…we're keen to sit down and chat with him. There's a lot that's happened since he's been away.
"So we'll do that and see what the next few days brings."
Meanwhile, Clayton said the Suns would "keep an eye" on Brisbane Lions defender Daniel Merrett's situation after speculation the veteran could be on the move.