Jack Hombsch is a South Australian, has spent the past six years playing for Port Adelaide and had a year to run on his contract – yet he chose to switch to Gold Coast.

The obvious question is, why?

While players have slowly trickled out of the SUNS in the past few years, Hombsch was one to buck the trend during the off-season, signing a three-year deal to head north.

"It was certainly a big decision to leave," Hombsch told AFL.com.au.

"I had a great time at Port and have got nothing but respect for them, but it was time for a fresh start and late in Trade Period it looked like the Steven May trade might go through and there'd be a chance to come up here.

"It was a big decision to make but very exciting as well."

The 25-year-old played 14 games for Port last season and 13 the year before.

He was at a club on the fringe of the top eight but chose to go to the rebuilding SUNS.

"I love Adelaide," he said.

"My family's there and people give Adelaide a bad rap being a slow town, but it suits me really well.

"Gold Coast the city as well, you realise there's a lot more to it than Surfers Paradise. I'm really comfortable there now and really excited about the next few years. 

"The moment I got up here the club made me feel welcome straight away."

Hombsch is one of a core of experienced players Gold Coast has recruited to bolster both its leadership and on-field playing stocks.

George Horlin-Smith, Anthony Miles, Corey Ellis and Jordan Murdoch all have plenty of experience to bring to the youngest list in the AFL. 

Hombsch had connections at Gold Coast, playing alongside Miles at GWS in 2012, spending five seasons with Aaron Young at Port, and living with Brendon Ah Chee, older brother of SUN Callum, in Adelaide.

And it hasn't escaped the rugged defender that his first season at Port Adelaide coincided with a remarkable revival in club fortunes – something he hopes Gold Coast can emulate in coming years.

After five wins in 2012 and sacking coach Matthew Primus, the Power rose to make the top eight the following season under Ken Hinkley. 

"From my experience it was the whole footy club buying into one goal, one message, simple as that," he said. 

"You'd think every club would do that, but for whatever reason that doesn't happen sometimes.

"No egos or no one straying outside the message or goal. 

"I thought it was a good opportunity to potentially build something like that.

"I'd love to be able to say in two, three, four years that Gold Coast is a great footy club, wins lots of games and I was here at the start of it."