HAWTHORN premiership player Clinton Young has quit the Hawks and will play for Collingwood next year.
The free agent last night agreed to terms to join Collingwood on a three-year deal ahead of today's 5pm deadline for free agents to exercise their rights.
Young last night informed Hawthorn, Collingwood and Port Adelaide, which had also made a substantial offer for the long-kicking left-footer, after agonising for days over the decision to quit the Hawks.
The terms Collingwood was able to offer were superior to the Hawks and the ability to remain in Victoria was likely to be persuasive against the Port Adelaide offer.
Young, a wingman, who was a member of the Hawks' 2008 premiership team and has played 116 games, will join Collingwood as a ready-made replacement for Sharrod Wellingham, who was traded to West Coast.
The move means Collingwood has traded out two players for first-round draft picks - Wellingham (pick 17) and Chris Dawes (pick 20) and brought in through free agency two experienced players - Young and Quinten Lynch - to fill their roles.
Young's manager, Alex McDonald, of McDonald Sports and Talent Management, said his client had agonised over the decision because of his affection and respect for Hawthorn, but was excited by the opportunity that Collingwood had provided.
An outside player who is a good user of the ball, Young fills the need Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and recruiter Derek Hine had identified for a player better able to deliver the ball inside forward 50.
Collingwood now has three picks inside 21 in the draft. As the picks now stand, they are 17, 18 and 20, but will likely be pushed back at least one place when the Brendon Goddard compensation pick for St Kilda is included at 13.
The Magpies have indicated their intent to go to the draft, having traded their early picks in recent years. Had Young not accepted the contract, they were perhaps more amenable to packaging two of those picks for a player.
But his signing means there is unlikely to be much room left in the salary cap to trade in players on a significant salary.
Due to injuries and form, Young managed only 32 games in 2009-11, but recovered his place this year to play 20 games, kicking 13 goals.