Tom Fullarton Quits Bullets for AFL
The Bullets have also announced the release of Tom Fullarton from his contract at the player's request. Fullarton informed Head Coach Andrej Lemanis he wished to pursue opportunities within AFL and requested an immediate release from his contract, which the Club has agreed to.
The 200cm-tall small forward came through Queensland and Australian under-age representative teams as well as the AIS-Centre of Excellence in Canberra and joined the Bullets as a development player for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 NBL seasons and was to move into the main roster on a two-year contract from the 2018-19 season with an option for an additional season.
Bullets General Manager Richard Clarke was disappointed but realistic regarding the situation.
"When Tom first signed with us he had to make the decision over playing basketball in the US College system or continuing in the AFL pathway. That he chose basketball and the Bullets was a big decision for him, and we knew that AFL would remain a strong consideration and alternative. Over the past 2 seasons we have invested into Tom’s development, in particular Andrej, and it is disappointing that we won’t get to see the results of that investment. However, from our experience when a player makes a decision like this there is no benefit in trying to change their mind, you only end up with a bad situation for both parties."
“Tom has put a lot of thought into this decision, when I met with him to discuss his reasons it was obvious that it wasn’t something he was taking lightly and he understood that it was a decision that would have an impact on others. It was also clear that he had decided that AFL was the pathway he wanted to pursue and as such we have agreed to release him to follow that pathway. We retain his rights should he return to basketball, but at this stage we wish him the best with his AFL goals.”
The Bullets have two remaining roster spots with the addition of Holt and departure of Fullarton, and Clarke indicated they would take their time to ensure getting the right players for those spots.
“We have one spot for a starting import small forward, ideally someone with a similar skill set to Torrey Craig when he was with us. We will take our time with that signing, it is important we get the right fit in terms of both skill set and personality to fit the group. Andrej and I will likely travel to the NBA Summer League in July to meet prospective players.”
“We still have one import spot available, so our final roster position can be either a local player or an import - it is basically a minimum salary role so we will look at who give us the best balance in the squad. We will look to take our time on this decision also, and continue to monitor player’s performances in the QBL and other leagues. Mick Downer and I have also just returned from the NBL Next Gen camp in Melbourne where there were some interesting prospects for with that final roster spot or development player positions” he said.