Former Gold Coast Suns footballer Alik Magin’s decision to join the Bendigo Gold boils down to one thing – opportunity.
In a boost for Bendigo’s decision to go stand-alone, the 21-year-old midfielder chose the Gold as his best pathway back to AFL after being delisted by the Suns and missing out in this month’s rookie draft.
“No other opportunities with any other AFL clubs came along, so I thought it was best to move to Victoria and play VFL,” Magin said yesterday.
“I was always looking at playing at a stand-alone side, even if it was Frankston, Port Melbourne or Bendigo.
“That’s what I based my decision on, where I’d get the best opportunity to play and I seemed to think that Bendigo was the right option the whole time.”
Magin played eight games for the Suns, mainly as a half-forward, after being taken at pick 80 in the 2010 national draft.
In round 21 last season he booted two goals and had 13 disposals against grand finalists Hawthorn.
Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Magin said it would be tough to move away from his family and home state, but he was looking forward to learning from Gold coach Aussie Jones.
“From someone like him that has so much AFL experience, he knows what it’s like to be at the top,” Magin said.
“I can learn so much from him next year and moving forward, he’ll push me along the way.”
The Gold’s new coach played 226 games for St Kilda.
Looking to add some top-level experience to a young list, Jones swooped after Magin wasn’t rookie-listed by an AFL club.
“He’s very unlucky not to be on Gold Coast’s list still and he’s a perfect candidate for us,” Jones said.
“He’s played AFL footy, he wants to get back onto an AFL list and he sees us as the opportunity for a perfect springboard.
“What it does is show that a guy that’s been in an AFL system and wants to get back there has done his research and believes our footy club is the best avenue for him.
“It’s a big coup for us too, because he has done his research and we came out on top.”
Jones said the Gold had at least two more experienced recruits to unveil soon.
“We’ll definitely have two more signings of guys coming off VFL lists, but we just haven’t signed them yet,” he said.
“We’re still in contact with a lot of guys from Vic footy, Tassie footy and Darwin that are floating around the AFL fringes.”
Magin, whose older brother Rhys was an Essendon rookie and also played for the Bendigo Bombers, will join the Gold for pre-season training on January 9.