The Brisbane Lions have lost star midfielder Michael Rischitelli to the Gold Coast Suns.

Rischitelli has become the third un-contracted player to sign with the new AFL franchise.

Natalie Sprott reports.

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In a three-year deal reportedly worth $500,000 a season, Rischitelli says he is leaving the Lions on a good note.

Michael Rischitelli, Gold Coast Suns player: “As a club, I’ve learnt a lot from the Lions and I think I’ve grown as a player and I’ve still got a lot of growing to do. I can only thank them enough.”

Rischitelli describes the decision as the one he felt was correct.

Michael Rischitelli, Gold Coast Suns player: “The decision was made purely for me and what’s best for my future.”

The Lions say they did all they could to entice Rischitelli to stay with the team, although in the end it just wasn’t enough.

Michael Bowers, Lions CEO: “The AFL designed it so that they can access players. Those sorts of things in your armoury were impossible for us to compete against.”

It’s not all bad news for the Brisbane Lions. The Chief Executive is confident that he’ll manage to retain two of his star players Luke Power and Simon Black.

Michael Bowers, Lions CEO: “I think that if you look at the careers of Simon and Luke they’ve been fantastic players for the club. We firmly believe that they’ll finish their careers in the club.”

Rischitelli is tipped to win the Brisbane Lions’ best and fairest award this Thursday night.

Natalie Sprott QUT news.