Melbourne's Colin Sylvia.
The Paul Roos effect has not been enough to keep Colin Sylvia at Melbourne. The enigmatic midfielder-forward is joining Fremantle as an unrestricted free agent.
The Dockers on Thursday confirmed that the uncontracted 27-year-old had nominated them as the club he wished to join from Melbourne.
New Demons coach Roos said he wanted to retain Sylvia, although the night before Roos' appointment was announced Sylvia gave a reflective speech at the best-and-fairest award that suggested a departure was likely.
Melbourne's Colin Sylvia is on the move to Fremantle. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Melbourne football operations manager Josh Mahoney said he had been informed the club's contract extension offer was ''of similar terms to the Fremantle contract'', indicating the lure of a potential premiership was a key factor in Sylvia's decision to head west.
Mahoney lamented Sylvia's departure. ''This decision does create a lot of opportunities for us going into the trade and free-agency periods. As we have already stated, we are aiming to bolster our midfield depth with experienced midfielders and Colin's decision today allows us to create more flexibility with potential targets,'' Mahoney said.
''We thought Colin could have played a role for us under Paul Roos. However as a club, this is a period of significant change. We understand his decision and we will move on quickly.''
Sylvia joined the Demons a decade ago as the No.3 draft pick. While he has shown glimpses of his immense talent in that time, he has yet to consistently perform to those lofty expectations, and has also had some off-field indiscretions.
When Brent Moloney won the Demons' best-and-fairest in 2011 he pointedly made reference to close friend Sylvia in his acceptance speech. ''Hopefully I see you standing up here, because if you put it together you'll win one of these,'' Moloney said.
This year Sylvia finished fifth in Melbourne's best-and-fairest, and also won the club ambassador award for his community work.
Sylvia said on Thursday it was ''the hardest decision'' of his career. ''The Melbourne Football Club will always be in my heart; it has made me who I am today and I thank for them for that.''