The Gold Coast SUNS have signed Sydney Swans defender Nick Malceski as an unrestricted free agent.

Malceski produced his best season in 2014, playing all 25 games for the Swans and earning All-Australian honours.

He played a pivotal role in helping the Swans reach the this year’s AFL Grand Final.

Malceski, 30, has played 176 AFL matches since making his debut in 2005 including kicking the winning goal in the 2012 Grand Final.

The penetrating half-back brings with him proven premiership experience and valuable leadership qualities.

List & Strategy Manager, Scott Clayton, said the club was thrilled to acquire a player of Malceski’s calibre.

“Nick’s decision to join the Gold Coast SUNS is huge. It’s a massive vote of confidence for our club, the players and our future.

“A great leader who brings premiership experience, Nick’s signing delivers us with a player who is at the top of his game, who we believe will make a major contribution over the next three years,” Clayton said.

Malceski admitted it was an extremely tough decision to leave the Swans, but the chance to be a key leader in taking a talented emerging list to the next level and to a sustained period of success was too good to miss.

"I am sad to have to leave Sydney.

"It has been great to me and I owe the club so much. I came to the club as an 18-year-old and have become the person I am today because of this place and it's people and culture.

"To have mentors like John Longmire, Brett Kirk and Adam Goodes was such a privilege and those habits, values and behaviours are forever with me.

"But this was too good an opportunity to miss both for my family and me personally. At Sydney I was surrounded by a depth of great leaders and at the SUNS it is all new and young. I am looking forward to helping them build a sustainable and successful team."