Homecoming hero Patrick Dangerfield reckons he’s achieved the perfect work-life balance.
Geelong got off to a flying start in the AFL trade period, landing the biggest fish on offer in Dangerfield and then securing Scott Selwood as a free agent from West Coast.
Adelaide did all they could to convince Dangerfield to sign a new deal.
But as the powerhouse midfielder described the allure of a move to Geelong on Monday, it became ever more clear how much the Crows were up against it.
The lifelong Cats fan, whose family still lives in the small surf coast town of Moggs Creek, spoke of coming to Simonds Stadium as a youngster, standing on a milk crate on the Moorabool Street wing to watch his heroes Garry Hocking and Peter Riccardi strut their stuff.
“Geelong was the team that I supported so it is nice, and it will be nice, to pull on that guernsey,” said Dangerfield, who played 154 games for Adelaide.
“You think about it in different stages of your career. This is where I’m from, this is where my family is, so you think about it at different stages and then you get to a certain stage in your life.
“I’m 25 now, football is important – it’s not the most important thing, the most important thing for me is family.
“But to be able to combine the two with such a terrific football club which Geelong is, it’s a pretty exciting prospect.”
Dangerfield reckons he has upwards of 100 relatives in the greater Geelong area, all of whom are just as excited as he is by the chance to don the famed navy blue and white hoops.
“It will be nice to surf and fish and then cruise into Geelong and play footy,” he said.
Dangerfield was also looking forward to playing alongside another of the competition’s very best midfielders in Geelong skipper Joel Selwood.
“Obviously he’s a champion of the game, a champion of this football club,” he said.
“It’s not only Joel, it’s the other 45 players who make up a team and that’s important if you’re going to experience success – everyone has a role to play.”
Geelong coach Chris Scott deliberately kept his distance during negotiations between the two clubs, with master recruiter Stephen Wells filling him in when he thought it necessary.
“I understand the hype that will surround a move like Paddy coming home,” said Scott.
“But we also acknowledge as a footy club we’ve been in transition for a long period of time, we’ve been working really hard on developing a group of players who can stand on their own two feet.
“Clearly Paddy and some of our senior players are going to help.
“But if Paddy hadn’t arrived at Geelong we would still have a level of confidence in our playing future.”
Dangerfield could have joined the Cats as a restricted free agent, but the Crows got better compensation for him by orchestrating a trade.
They received draft picks nine and 28 and untried Geelong midfielder Dean Gore in exchange for Dangerfield and pick 50.