Kangaroos swoop to sign delisted Greenwood

Hugh Greenwood will play for a third AFL club in 2022 after being snapped up by North Melbourne.
Hugh Greenwood will play for a third AFL club in 2022 after being snapped up by North Melbourne.

North Melbourne have pulled off a stunning AFL heist, swooping to secure recently-delisted Gold Coast midfielder Hugh Greenwood.

In one of the more bizarre and dramatic moves in recent AFL history, the Kangaroos have capitalised on Gold Coast's tricky list predicament.

Greenwood, 29, was cut by the Suns last week but was expected to be put straight back on the club's list during the draft period.

Instead North Melbourne saw an opportunity and offered Greenwood a better deal.

"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," Greenwood posted on social media on Monday night.

"However, from what I've now learnt and what I hope people can understand is that 24 hours can be a very long time in footy.

"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."

Suns strategy manager Craig Cameron said they "sat down and had an open conversation about the (North) offer and what was best for both Hugh, his family and Gold Coast".

"As a group, the decision was made to support Hugh in his wish to join North Melbourne and extend his AFL playing career."

New Suns football boss Wayne Campbell confirmed that they could not match what North offered Greenwood.

"Hugh goes with our best wishes. We put him in this scenario," Campbell told 3AW.

"When a contract is put in front of you that secures your future, and gets your three years guaranteed playing footy, as opposed to one where we are, I find that hard to hold against a professional footballer."

The move to North Melbourne comes after Greenwood took to social media last week to pledge his commitment to Gold Coast.

"Still on the primary list. Still on the same contract," Greenwood tweeted.

"Still at the Suns. Still see everyone round one.

"Was happy to cop the odd clickbait article & social nuff if it meant assisting the club's overall list strategy."

The on-baller cheekily acknowledged on Monday "safe to say that tweet didn't age well", but that at the time everything was "sincere and true".

"It was also an opportunity to fully support the footy club's decision to find ways to make itself better and to highlight the fact it didn't change our plans of happily living on the GC and being part of the Suns for 2022," he wrote.

"However, less than 24 hours after the tweet, North saw an opportunity to give us a call."

Greenwood injured his knee in July and missed the Suns' last six games of the 2021 season but is expected to be fit for the start of pre-season training.

The former US college basketballer played 32 games for Gold Coast after moving from Adelaide at the end of 2019, following 51 games for the Crows.

Greenwood's relationship with North coach David Noble from when they were at Adelaide together proved crucial in the signing.

"Every club is on the lookout for this type of player so we knew we had to act quickly when he became available," North football talent manager Brady Rawlings said.

"Hugh liked what we're doing here at North and wanted to be part of it.

"It's fair to say we were pretty pumped when he told us he was keen to come to Arden St."

North are coming off their first wooden spoon in almost 50 years and will have the opening selection in the national draft on November 24.

Australian Associated Press