RICHMOND small forward Jack Higgins has officially requested a trade to St Kilda as he seeks greater opportunity at AFL level.
The 21-year-old has one season left to run on his existing Tigers deal but would sign a multi-year contract with the Saints, who surged back into the top-eight under Brett Ratten this year.
Higgins recovered from brain surgery to play 10 games in 2020 but managed just one senior appearance after round 10 and was overlooked for Richmond’s successful finals campaign.
Higgins’ manager Paul Connors said the player had contacted Tigers coach Damien Hardwick and football talent manager Blair Hartley over the weekend to signal his intentions.
“He has a year left on his contract but he just wants to play footy and he’d love the opportunity at the Saints,” Connors told Trade Radio.
“I just think Jack’s such a passionate young man, I think it’s in everyone’s best interests that he moves.”
Richmond are eager to keep Higgins and have reportedly knocked back St Kilda’s offer of a future second-round draft pick.
The Tigers would entertain a trade if well compensated but the Saints are unlikely to offer up their first-round draft pick (No.17 overall).
Higgins was drafted at pick 17 three years ago.
“I think the ability to use your future picks, I’m sure James Gallagher at the Saints and Blair (Hartley) they’ll be able to sit down and nut out a little deal,” Connors said.
If a deal is agreed, Higgins will become St Kilda’s third off-season recruit this year.
Former Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch and delisted free agent Shaun McKernan have already joined the club.
It follows an impressive 2019 recruiting drive that netted five experienced players and helped spark the Saints’ move up the ladder.
(C) AAP 2020