While it took until the closing minutes of the AFL trade period, Ballarat footballer Dan Butler is on the move, leaving the club he won a premiership with for one of the AFL's up-and-comers.
The small forward will depart Richmond, where he was drafted to in 2014 with the 67th pick out of the Greater Western Victoria Rebels program, to head to St Kilda.
The deal was finalised at 7.27pm, three minutes prior to the closure of the AFL trade period.
Butler, 23, played 45 games for the Tigers, notably helping the side to its first premiership in 37 years in 2017.
After appearing sporadically for Richmond in 2019, speaking exclusively to The Courier Butler said he was confident he still had the skills to be an AFL contributor and would use the time he spent in the VFL to better his craft.
"Obviously it hasn't been the ideal year in terms of playing in the VFL," he said in August.
I think I struggled at AFL level this year but I definitely think I'm an AFL player.Dan Butler
"I think the main thing for me has just been trying to remain positive... we've got such a good group of guys at the club (Richmond) so they make that pretty easy."
Speaking after the deal had been finalised, St Kilda list manager James Gallagher said Butler added an extra dimension to the Saints' list with his speed and aerobic capacity.
"We are really pleased to bring Dan on board and add to the talented group recruited over the past 10 days," Gallagher said.
"He is a player with a specific skill-set who we believe will bolster our forward line.
"His ability to work up the ground and hit the forward 50 with speed is really strong, as his appetite for defensive pressure."
Butler joins Zak Jones, Bradley Hill, Dougal Howard and Paddy Rider as fresh faces joining the Saints for the 2020 AFL season.
Elsewhere Adelaide's Brad Crouch will remain with the Crows for at least one more season after the best and fairest winning mid-fielder failed to receive an adequate offer.
Talks appeared to be in the works between Adelaide and the Gold Coast Suns for the 25-year-old however the two side's were unable to come to an agreement.
Speaking on AFL Trade Radio, Essendon premiership captain said it was a smart move for the Crows to hold onto its star in light of the exodus the club has experienced over recent years.
"How many players can they lose?" he said.
"Look at it over the years Paddy Dangerfield, Jake Lever, Charlie Cameron and in recent times Hugh Greenwood, Sam Jacobs, Alex Keath. Now you are talking about just giving up on your best and fairest.
"I would keep Brad Crouch, not if he wants too much money but you want senior, good players around the club to support young players."
Crouch played all 22 games for Adelaide in 2019, averaging over 30 disposals a contest and kicking 11 goals over the course of the season.
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