'I don't hold a grudge or anything like that'
LACHIE Weller says his family has moved on from brother Maverick's tense exit from the Suns, saying Gold Coast's recent overhaul at the top level opened the door for his return to where it began.
The prized Suns recruit was caught up in the bitter split between now-St Kilda player Maverick and Gold Coast when he was a young academy player dreaming of joining his brother on the club's senior list.
Maverick was taken as an inaugural Sun as a 17-year-old access selection in 2010.
He went on to play 32 AFL games before being delisted at the end of 2013 and later voiced his discontent with the decision while taking aim at former coach Guy McKenna and the club's operations.
Weller opened up about the toll it took on the family but the now 21-year-old, who spent another 12 months in Gold Coast's academy, said he left on good terms.
"I don't hold a grudge or anything like that," he said.
"It was a pretty tough time but I think if you look at the club now it has got completely different people that are running it now.
"I have got an attachment to the place I think through the Suns academy and having mates and stuff here.
"I always loved the place. All the stuff that happened with Mav did affect the whole family because we were really close. But we've moved on."
Weller requested a trade from Fremantle - where he played 47 games in three seasons - and arrived with draft pick 41 in exchange for the Suns' No. 2 selection.
He has signed a four-year deal with Gold Coast.
Weller revealed the trade came as a shock to Maverick and parents Kaz and Gregg who were all in the dark when it came to his intentions.
For Weller it was a move he spent a long time planning.
When he sat down with his personal sports psychologist at the start of 2016, among a host of goals written on a vision board was his desire to one day get back to the Suns, situated next to the club's red and gold logo. He still has it at his home in Perth.
"I had coming back to the Gold Coast Suns later in my career on (the board). It's happened earlier than I thought," he said.
"When you set your mind to something things can happen. Maybe it happened because of that."
His partner Nicola's parents live on the Gold Coast and Weller said his parents were considering returning.
Weller arrives with a host of relationships already built with many Suns players.
He knows co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven May and some senior Suns from his time at the academy as well as the likes of Touk Miller and Peter Wright from the AFL development system.
Weller said he sought advice from former Dockers teammate and now Suns midfielder Michael Barlow during trade talks and was ultimately convinced by the pitches by Suns coach Stuart Dew and CEO Mark Evans.