Greater Western Sydney recruit Brett Deledio says he will be “disappointed” if Richmond fans do not boo him when he plays the Tigers for the first time next season after crossing from Punt Road during the trade period.
Deledio spent 12 seasons at Tigerland, playing 243 games since joining the club as the No.1 draft pick in 2004.
He shocked the football world last month when he requested a trade, initially to Geelong and then later to the Giants, when the Cats could not facilitate a trade with the Tigers or fit Deledio into their salary cap.
The 29-year-old encouraged Richmond fans to boo him when the Giants play Richmond in Round 9 next season.
“I certainly know when it is,” Deledio said of the clash with his former club.
“The ‘Tiger Army’ were fantastic, they supported me through thick and thin, and I’d be disappointed if they didn’t boo me or something at some stage.”
“When you spend 12 years at a place you certainly get mixed emotions, I’ve got some great mates there, so it’ll be fun running out against them.
“I’m sure they wouldn’t mind getting into me, because we did that at training every second day.
“I’m glad we’ve got them up here first before we have to play them down there at the ‘G.”
Despite an impressive resumè at the Tigers, Deledio said he will not take anything for granted at his new club and is prepared to fight hard to earn his spot in the side.
“Every player has to play their way into a spot (in the team),” he said.
“I think that’s the beauty of it, everyone is under pressure to perform and it really challenges you.
“The Giants really impressed me last season, the way they played was exciting, and if we can keep growing and challenging each other I certainly see us getting better again.”
Dledio has been given the No.7 guernsey, which was previously worn by former rising star winner, Rhys Palmer, who is now a Blue.