By Beth Newman
Sandgate captain, Michael Richardson, will play for Wilston Grange in 2015.
Richardson debated over the decision for weeks after the Hawks’ 2014 campaign ended, ultimately deciding to move on.
“It was an extremely hard decision,” he said.
“Since the season finished, I’d been thinking about it pretty much every night.”
It was a roller coaster season for the Hawks in 2014, whose coach, Rob Dickfos, resigned midway through the season and Richardson acknowledged football lost its fun through the year.
“The last part of the season was really hard,”he said.
“I’m really looking forward to enjoying my footy again.
“I was looking for new opportunities and new challenges and I started speaking to Matt (Grange coach, Matt Trewhella) and decided to make the change.”
Richardson is friends with a number of the current Gorillas crop, having played with them at Aspley, a big factor in his decision to move to Grange.
The 25 year-old is likely to see more midfield time at the Gorillas, after mainly playing off the half-back flank at the Hawks.
“Fitness has always been one of my strengths, so having that opportunity to go into the midfield is pretty exciting,” he said.
With the leaders well established at the Gorillas, Richardson said he was looking forward to just playing his part in the side.
“I think just going to a new club is a big enough change as it is,” he said.
“Grange has a lot going for them at the moment (as well).”
Grange player-coach, Matt Trewhella, empathised with the difficulty of the decision Richardson had to make.
“I can’t imagine how difficult that decision would’ve been for him,” he said.
“It wasn’t like I head hunted him but he’s good mates with a lot of my guys and if he was going to move, we were always going to make him feel welcome.”
Trewhella said Richardson was the kind of player the Gorillas were really targeting.
“He’s got good height and great skills,”he said.
“We’re looking for more midfielders of that sort of size, to alleviate the pressure from Steve (Brittain) and Ketts ( Dave Kettle).
“He’s got quite an old head for a younger guy.”
With the two north side clubs already fierce rivals, Trewhella said their annual ANZAC eve clash could be even more of a drawcard in 2015.
“We had Matt Nickerson come over last year, but this is a little different,”he said.
“ANZAC Day would be a pretty good game to go and watch.”