HUGH Greenwood has taken to social media to explain his shock move to from Gold Coast to North Melbourne after he was surprisingly cut last week to help the club's list strategy.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday night, Greenwood said he was all set to be re-drafted by the Suns but "North saw an opportunity" to poach the delisted free agent.
"24 hours can be a very long time in footy," Greenwood wrote.
"With a 5pm [delisted free agency period] deadline approaching on the Monday, both parties agreed on a deal that we felt comfortable [sic] enough ticked the boxes required for us to consider, and ultimately move our young family to Melbourne.
"I look forward to thanking the Suns in the coming days, but for now we are excited to see what North Melbourne has in store for our family."
It's understood the Kangaroos have signed Greenwood to a two-year deal with a trigger for a third as a delisted free agent, beating the Suns to his signature after they had promised to re-list the experienced onballer during next week's NAB AFL Draft.
Greenwood, who still had two years to run on his contract at Metricon Stadium, was delisted from Gold Coast last week with the promise of being re-drafted. The club later said it had made the move to add greater flexibility to its list management process
It drew immediate criticism, to which Greenwood responded on social media saying: "Still on the primary list. Still on the same contract. Still been medically cleared to train/play for over a month. Still at the Suns. Still see everyone round one.
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"Was happy to cop the odd clickbait article and social nuff if it meant assisting the club's overall list strategy."
Greenwood referenced his now infamous tweet in his statement.
"Safe to say that tweet didn't age well," he wrote.
"At the time of my tweet on Thursday everything in it was sincere and true.
"It was also an opportunity to fully support the footy clubs [sic] decision to find ways to make itself better, and also highlight the fact it didn't change our plans of happily living on the [Gold Coast] and being a part of the Suns for 2022.
"If I'm prepared to put myself out there then I've got to be prepared for everything that comes with it and clearly without the right facts and right information this scenario can be seen as a dreadful look."
The move bolsters North Melbourne's developing midfield group ahead of next week's draft, where the club also holds the prized No.1 selection and is set to recruit South Australia star Jason Horne-Francis.
Greenwood, 29, has spent the last two seasons at Gold Coast after crossing from Adelaide ahead of the 2020 campaign. He has since emerged as one of the club's best midfielders, averaging 17.5 disposals, 6.2 clearances and 8.6 tackles per game last year.
The Suns also delisted Rory Thompson and Jez McLennan as part of their list changes, promising to re-list both – along with Greenwood – at the national and rookie drafts respectively.
The club said the move was part of a "deliberate strategy" and reiterated that the move was only a "temporary measure".
Suns general manager of player talent and strategy Craig Cameron said they had an "open conversation" about the Roos' offer.
"Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Hugh for his commitment and contribution to the football club and our young group over the past two seasons," Cameron said.
"We sat down and had an open conversation about the offer and what was best for both Hugh, his family and the Gold Coast Suns.
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"As a group, the decision was made to support Hugh in his wish to join North Melbourne and extend his AFL playing career."
Greenwood said the opportunity at North Melbourne was "too good to turn down".
"The Suns have been transparent with me and my manager throughout this whole process and I was fully committed to doing everything I could to ensure the club continued to take steps in its journey towards success," Greenwood said.
"It’s been a whirlwind past 48 hours, however the opportunity to extend my career and set my young family up with North Melbourne was one too good to turn down.
"I’d like to thank the Gold Coast Suns and its members for all the support they have provided me and my family over the past two years.
"I strongly believe the football club is now in a far better position than when I first arrived and I wish everyone here all the best for what will be an exciting few years ahead."
Greenwood missed the end of the 2021 season with a torn medial collateral ligament injury to his right knee, but is expected to be fit for the first day of pre-season training with his new club on December 6.