‘Make me a Saint’, Ryder tells Power
Paddy Ryder has told Port Adelaide to make him a Saint.
Turning his back on former club Essendon, the veteran Power ruckman - deemed surplus to requirements at ruck-deep Port - said he "didn't get a really good feeling" about heading back to Bomberland and wants to join St Kilda.
The 31-year-old has been offered a two-year by the Saints, with the Power agreeing to try to orchestrate a trade.
Given Ryder's age, he is expected to be moved for a late draft pick.
"I was over here (Melbourne) last week and I've been back and forth a bit,'' Ryder told AFL Trade Radio.
"A couple of weeks ago I was leaning towards Essendon and then I went back the other way.
"The thing that stuck with me was I went back into (Essendon) last week and I felt like I wanted to go through there and see what it felt like.
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"I just didn't get a really good feeling from going back there.
"I was walking around the place and seeing everyone and saying 'g'day' and I had a meeting with the coaches.
"But then I went down to Moorabbin and there was a sense of excitement. In the end that's what I based my decision on."
Ryder, who has played 243 games, including 73 at Port from 2015-19 after 170 with the Bombers before he left at the height of the supplements scandal, also wants to link up with his cousin Brad Hill at St Kilda.
The Fremantle wingman - a triple premiership player with Hawthorn from 2013-15 - has also asked for a trade to the Saints.
Ryder said his involvement in the supplements saga - which saw him miss a year of football in 2016 - did not impact on his decision, saying he had "moved on'' from that:
"It was great to go back in there (to Essendon), there was a bit of love shown to me, so I think I've got a bit of closure on that,'' he said.
"Bradley is my little cousin and I've always wanted to play with a family member, so that was a big drawcard in me choosing the Saints.
"That is something that I am really excited about - and so is Bradley.
"Obviously they've got to come up with a trade to get him there but he's pretty confident and I think the club is pretty confident in getting him as well.''
Ryder, who had a career-best season in 2017 when he was named an All-Australian but was dropped to the SANFL this year, said he understood Port's stance not to offer him the two-year deal he was looking for.
"The way things have panned out at Port in the past couple of years, it has brought in Scott Lycett (from West Coast) and we have a couple of young blokes on the list (Peter Ladhams and Sam Hayes), who probably need a bit more time to develop," he said.
"Being my age, I'm taking away that opportunity for them, so I'm very understanding of the football club's position and respect their decision.
"But I feel like I've still got a lot more to give."
The trade period begins on October 7.