Bailey Wood is making the move to Queensland where he will look to join a QAFL team for next season.
Wood had a successful season for the Hoppers which saw him play 11 senior games after returning from season-ending shoulder injury that restricted him to just the two first grade appearances in 2022.
The talented young forward confirmed that he was making the move to the Gold Coast and said that he was excited to be heading to the Sunshine State.
"Yeah I'm heading up there with my brother and maybe one of my mates and our girlfriends which will be pretty fun," Wood said.
"I'm very keen to get out of Leeton and try something out I guess."
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Planning to make the move in the coming months, Wood admitted that he had yet to formally decide where he'd been playing his football next season.
"I've been talking to a few clubs in the QAFL but nothing has been set in stone in terms of playing," he said.
"I'm kind of waiting to go up there and have a look around at each club so I'm not certain where I'm going yet.
"But I'm having a few chats to see what my options are."
The QAFL is one of the higher standards of competition in the country and Wood said that he was looking forward to testing himself against some strong opposition.
"I've always said that I want to play as good of footy as I can," he said.
"QAFL is probably the best footy up there that I'm able to hopefully play so that's what I'm looking for."
After growing up in Leeton, Wood revealed that the move to the Gold Coast was probably what he was most looking forward to.
"That's probably the most exciting bit about it," he said.
"Changing it up and having a bit of a crack at living away from home.
"But I'll have my brother up there as well so that'll be good for both of us to move away and be together still."
Wood said that he was hopeful that he would get the opportunity to play alongside his brother Jake in the QAFL.
The pair haven't had the opportunity to play a great deal of footballer together as Jake has spent the past couple of years playing in the AFL Barwon FNL with the Geelong West Giants.
Wood's best performance of the season came against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes in round nine where he kicked four final-term goals to get the Hoppers over the line by four points.
The young forward said that game was the confidence boost he needed to prove to himself that he can perform at a high level in the top grade.
"That was kind of the turning point for my season I think," he said.
"I was lacking confidence but my coach Jake Barrett kept telling me that I had the power to be able to turn a game.
"I was losing confidence in that but that game ended up happening and with him saying that it gave me the confidence to be able to do what I needed to get the team over the line."
Wood admitted that it wasn't an easy decision to move on from the Hoppers and claimed that making the move there from Leeton-Whitton was one of the best things he'd done.
"I enjoyed playing with the Hoppers," he said.
"Making the move over there from Leeton was one of the best things I've done.
"I've made plenty of mates I'm going to have for the rest of my life and I really enjoyed my time there.
"They made me feel like I was a local from the start."
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