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Thomas a Magpie no longer

Stephen Rielly  October 9, 2013 11:38 AM

Dale Thomas runs down the wing during Collingwood's win over Richmond in round four.

Dale Thomas runs down the wing during Collingwood's win over Richmond in round four.

Collingwood today informed Dale Thomas of its decision to allow him to revive his career with Carlton.

The club has declined to match the offer Carlton put to Thomas as a restricted free agent, a decision which is likely to see the Magpies compensated with a first round national draft pick.

The 26 year-old played five games for Collingwood in 2013, for a career total of 157 across eight seasons.

A member of the 2010 premiership side and an All-Australian in 2011, Thomas was selected by Collingwood with the second pick of the 2005 national draft. Scott Pendlebury became a Magpie three selections later.

“‘Daisy’ has always played with passion and as a young player he embodied the new spirit of the sides that would win the flag in 2010 and play in the grand final of 2011,” Collingwood coach, Nathan Buckley, said.

“He was a big occasion player who often thrived on the MCG stage. He enjoyed the theatre. The crowds, the roar, the stakes, they seemed to inspire him.

“The game has since thrown its challenges at him and he is looking to start afresh but he shared in a history-making moment with us and will always be remembered for that. Everyone at Collingwood wishes him well.”

Thomas kicked 121 goals in his 157 matches in black and white, polled 21 Brownlow medal votes and placed in the top five of the Copeland Trophy count once, in 2010.

Collingwood National Recruiting Manager, Derek Hine, said a contract was put to Thomas during the season and a revised performance based deal offered to him last month.

“On balance, given the injury issues at play and the offer put to him by Carlton, we didn’t think it was appropriate to hold Dale,” Hine said.

“He has been a fine player for Collingwood and a popular person around the club. His ankle has obviously caused him some problems over the last year or two but we hope he finds his way back as a player and, in retirement, makes his way back to the Westpac Centre at some stage.”