SUNS recruit Oleg Markov couldn’t wipe the smile off his moustachioed face after fronting the media for the first time in the red and gold on Thursday.
The 24-year-old joined the SUNS on Wednesday as part of the 2020 AFL Trade Period, with the club exchanging a future third-round pick with Richmond in return for the Belarusian’s services.
Markov, who played six games in 2020, said he couldn’t wait to join his new teammates when pre-season commences in December.
“It’s been a long time coming, I’ve sort of been back and forth having conversations,” he said.
“I wanted to come here and have a fresh start and I’m pretty rapt to be finally onboard and it’s all official.”
Markov was part of Richmond’s 2020 premiership squad and has remained on the Gold Coast since the conclusion of the AFL season.
Currently bunking with former teammate Brandon Ellis, Markov said he’s had the opportunity to meet some of his teammates and explore the Gold Coast under Ellis’ wing.
The fleet-footed defender fills a need for Gold Coast and said he is determined to win a spot in the SUNS backline in 2021.
“I just want to be a part of a team foremost and make the most of an opportunity that has presented itself for me,” Markov told the media.
“It’s not going to be given to me obviously, I haven’t come up here to say I’m playing every game.
“But I’ve given myself an opportunity to say there’s a spot there for me and I’m going to work my arse off for it.”
Markov said the opportunity to join such a young and committed playing group hungry for success at the SUNS was one of the driving factors in his decision to join the club.
“I’m excited to just give my energy to the youth here and hopefully become a leader as well and bring my traits that I had at my former club here.
“But also seeing where this club’s gone and the future that it has, I wanted to be a part of it.”
The SUNS’ youngest players will return for pre-season training on December 7.