Saints' Long seeks AFL switch to Suns

·2-min read

Tough utility Ben Long has informed St Kilda he wants to move to Gold Coast during the upcoming AFL trade period.

The 25-year-old is out of contract after playing 79 games for the Saints over six seasons.

He had his best year to date in 2022, when he made 19 appearances as a blue-collar forward.

Long attracted interest from multiple clubs, including North Melbourne, but has settled on Gold Coast in a boost to the Suns' chances of a maiden finals appearance next year.

St Kilda list manager James Gallagher said the club is disappointed by Long's decision.

"Ben has had a contract offer from the club for a number of months now, so we're naturally disappointed to receive this news, particularly as we believe Ben has a lot of good football in front of him," Gallagher said in a statement.

"While the option to stay at the Saints remains, and we would be disappointed to see Ben go, we will work with the Suns to see if an appropriate trade can be reached."

Long joins Luke Jackson, Junior Rioli and Karl Amon on a growing list of players who have expressed their desires to be traded next month.

Melbourne ruckman Jackson wants to move home to WA, West Coast premiership forward Rioli is seeking a switch to Port Adelaide and Power wingman Amon hopes to get to Hawthorn.

GWS pair Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto could both end up at Richmond, while their Giants teammate Tanner Bruhn looks set to join Geelong.

But the Cats won't get their hands on Bailey Scott - the son of former Geelong and North Melbourne speedster Robert Scott - who has signed a two-year contract extension with the Kangaroos.

The 22-year-old, who finished third in the club's best-and-fairest award this year, had been linked to a move down the highway to Geelong but will stay put under new coach Alastair Clarkson.

"We are really pleased to have Bailey commit to our club," Kangaroos list boss Brady Rawlings said.

"There has obviously been a lot of external discussion around Bailey's future.

"Bailey is passionate about the North Melbourne Football Club and has a lot of confidence in where we are headed.

"As a club, we are invested in Bailey, he's an important player to us and his recent accolades speak for themselves.

"It's a great outcome for all involved."