Collingwood's mega Brodie Grundy deal clinched over sandwich
IT WAS just before Christmas when the caller ID on Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley's phone flashed up with the name of the 2019 All-Australian ruckman.
The soon-to-be uncontracted Brodie Grundy said he was keen for a chat, preferably right now.
Grundy then drove to Buckley's house to deliver the news every Collingwood person had been waiting to hear.
"He just made me a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches and we went out the back and ate them and I told him I was staying," Grundy said.
"He said 'good, great' and we had a bit of a chat about my role at the club and what I can bring and my evolution as a player and a person at the club.
"It was a really good chat and he's a really great mentor, and one of the big reasons why I've signed on."
I poured my heart into those tuna, cheese, tomato and avocado on sour dough toasties (w herbed salt and cracked pepper) Took me an hour to prepare. Only to be reduced to “ham and cheese” 😐Reassessing the relationship right now @brodiegrundy— Nathan Buckley (@ncb_cfc) January 17, 2020
The Herald Sun revealed in November that the Magpies had bowed to Grundy's contract demands of a mega seven-year deal - one of the biggest in the game's history.
There was a long standoff, but Grundy reiterated on Friday that he had refused to budge on the length on the contract.
"It was pretty important from my perspective," he said.
"Just as a player you want to have that long-term security, but in terms of also fitting in with the list strategy that (Magpies list boss) Ned (Guy) is working so hard to try and tick off on.
"We had to try and come to an agreement there and I think both parties were happy."
The Magpies eventually agreed to the seven years, but Grundy still had to put pen to paper and tell his family he would not be coming home to Adelaide.
"As I've gotten older, family has become more important to me," Grundy said.
"My partner's from Adelaide as well and she's a massive priority in my life as well, so it's a few delicate things.
"I know my mum misses me and wishes I was home, so I'm sorry Mum.
"But we've built a family here and a home here."
The big question now is whether or not the big dollars spent on Grundy will impact the retention of some of the Magpies' other big stars.
Forward Jordan De Goey, defender Darcy Moore and skipper Scott Pendlebury are all off contract at the season's end.
Grundy admitted Guy had a big job ahead of him.
"Scott is a champion of the club and I'm sure he'll do what he does," he said.
"In terms of the other two boys, I can't obviously comment but I'd love for them to stay.
"The conversations with the club that I had were about trying to keep the list together and it is a tricky task with the talent we have coming out of contract.
"That's Ned's role, so it's lucky I just have to worry about trying to get a kick on the weekend and not crunching the numbers."
Some questioned handing such a long contract to Grundy given the concern over the longevity of ruckmen.
Grundy said he was confident he will still be still be playing good football in his 30s.
"I think I prepare really well and that's one of my strengths," he said.
"I haven't missed a game really since I started playing consistent footy, bar a couple of little incidents.
"I'm only 25 turning 26 this year so I feel in large part that my best footy is still ahead of me."