Melbourne midfielder James Harmes has sympathised with ruckman Brodie Grundy as both out-of-favour players prepare for likely trades away from the Demons.
Grundy is expected to join Sydney, his third AFL club in as many seasons, after the Demons’ gamble on pairing the former Collingwood star with captain Max Gawn failed.
Harmes, a 2021 premiership player with 152 games to his name, played just nine matches this season, and while he hasn’t requested a trade “as of yet”, he has been given Melbourne’s blessings to look elsewhere.
Both Grundy and Harmes finished their respective seasons in the VFL.
“Brodie and I actually became really close at the end of the year and I definitely feel for Brodie,” Harmes said.
“It’s obviously tough just moving clubs, and he’s going to have to do it again.
“But the way he’s handled himself has been incredible.
“But I’m looking forward to him having a really good crack at it next year and hopefully playing some really good footy.”
Harmes wouldn’t be drawn on whether the Demons and coach Simon Goodwin had sold Grundy a pipe dream.
“‘Goody’ and the club experimented, and Gawny’s probably the best ruckman still in the league, and Brodie’s not far behind him,” he said.
“I don’t think it was a mistake, Melbourne bringing him to the club, it just didn’t work out.”
Harmes, who is contracted at Melbourne for next season, has been linked to Essendon, but said he was “happy to go anywhere”, including interstate, to get back to his best.
“Honestly at the moment it’s all up in the air a bit,” he said at a TAB event.
“I had my exit meeting, it all went really smoothly and Goody and (list manager) Tim Lamb are happy for me to explore my options.
“My manager’s doing that at the moment … if I’m back at Melbourne next year I’m back there, but I’ll just let him deal with all that.
“This year was pretty hard for me personally. I just said to the club I’d be interested in having a fresh start.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of clubs, got a few things over the next few days, so we’ll see what happens.”
Harmes worked closely with new Richmond coach and former Melbourne senior assistant Adem Yze, but they appear unlikely to reunite at Punt Road.
“I’ve hinted it at him as a little joke,” he said.
“I haven’t caught up with him or chatted with Richmond at all.”
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Source: AFL NEWS ABC