AFL free agent Chol to join Gold Coast

In-demand ruckman Mabior Chol has signed for the Gold Coast Suns.
In-demand ruckman Mabior Chol has signed for the Gold Coast Suns.

Gold Coast have won the race to sign in-demand ruckman Mabior Chol from Richmond, luring the AFL free agent north on a four-year deal.

Chol had interest from several clubs but the security offered by the Suns proved most attractive.

The Tigers could also be set to lose talented young tall Callum Coleman-Jones, who is reportedly set to request a trade to North Melbourne.

Richmond were eager to retain the pair of talented talls but have little room to move under the salary cap.

After 31 games in six seasons with the Tigers, Chol's decision will take him closer to his family in Queensland.

The 24-year-old's manager Ralph Carr confirmed the move on Wednesday.

"We're extremely excited that Mabior Chol will be going to the Gold Coast Suns for four years," Carr told Channel Seven.

"It was important for him to go home and then get more opportunity to play senior football."

Chol's move can be completed once the free agency period begins on October 1.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast's off-field restructure has led to the appointment of Wayne Campbell as the club's new general manager of football performance.

Campbell replaces former football operations boss Jon Haines, who departed earlier this month.

It is hoped Campbell's arrival will help steady the ship, with coach Stuart Dew and his team under pressure after a 16th-place finish.

The Suns lost five of their last six matches in 2021 by an average margin of 63 points and have now finished in the bottom five on the ladder in all but one of their 11 seasons in the competition.

Campbell spent four years in a similar role with GWS from 2016-2019, worked as the AFL's head of umpiring and has held football department positions with both Richmond and the Western Bulldogs.

"(Campbell will) primarily be responsible for driving the performance and operations of the football department," Gold Coast chief executive Mark Evans said.

"Wayne has a wealth of knowledge and vast experience within the AFL industry over a number of years and will be a valuable addition to lead our football program.

"As a club we've set important foundations and our players and staff must now be striving to perform at the highest level both on and off the field."

A two-time All Australian, Campbell played 297 games for Richmond in a 15-year playing career.

His appointment at Gold Coast comes with the club's list boss Craig Cameron stepping into an expanded role.

Cameron will now oversee the long-term development of the Suns' football programs and pathways.

Australian Associated Press