Exiting Rischitelli odds-on to win medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Exiting Rischitelli odds-on to win medal

By Laine Clark 08/09/2010 09:08:05 AM Comments (0)

What loomed as a difficult Brisbane Lions presentation night has become a "win-win situation", departing midfielder Michael Rischitelli said.

The odds-on favourite for the Lions' Merrett-Murray Medal for best and fairest also happened to be the latest signing for new AFL rivals the Gold Coast Suns.

Talk about awkward.

But Rischitelli said on Tuesday he would only find positives from the evening after ending months of speculation and announcing a lucrative three-year Suns deal.

Rischitelli reportedly had initially asked to postpone his announcement until after Thursday night's Lions presentation dinner.

But the 24-year-old midfielder raised eyebrows when he was unveiled by Suns CEO Travis Auld and coach Guy McKenna on the tourist strip on Tuesday - 48 hours before the Lions' gala night.

However, Rischitelli believed clearing the air with the Lions would ensure a fun night would be had by all on Thursday night.

"I thought it was only best that I not leave anyone hanging, that's what I was thinking (about making the announcement)," Rischitelli told AAP.

"I think it is a good thing I have done.

"Now I am just going to enjoy the night.

"If it happens (and I win the Merrett-Murray Medal) I will be happy but if not I will still be a happy man because I will be with my mates and leaving on a good note.

"It's a win-win situation for me personally."

Lions CEO Michael Bowers also sounded like a relieved man over the Rischitelli announcement.

"I am not sure it is ever a good time for this sort of announcement," he said on Tuesday.

"We respect the new footy club and Michael and they have chosen to make (the announcement) now.

"It think it is good to know. Anything like this you want to know sooner rather than later - I think they have done it well."

Rischitelli said a phone call to Lions coach Michael Voss had cleared the air over his move.

"He was actually pretty good, he understands," he said.

"It's gone pretty well. I will probably have a beer with him at some stage - probably Thursday night.

"I am not going to speculate on how tough it was a decision (to leave) - the decision was made purely for me and what is best for my future."

Rischitelli wouldn't bite when asked if being offered up as trade bait at the start of the year had led to his departure.

But the midfielder did admit the constant speculation over his future had been a distraction - and that was just from his family.

Not that you could tell on the field.

Rischitelli had his most consistent year at the Lions in 2010, but could not stop them from crashing spectacularly out of finals calculations.

"I am not one to pick up the paper and read about rumours, but obviously with family and friends always mentioning it, it does become a hassle," he said.

"But I think I handled it well, putting it aside and concentrating on playing footy.

"That's all you can do - it's a distraction but you can't let it get to you."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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