Fri. May 20th, 2022

Hawthorn’s concept of exchanging skilled mature players with draft picks is sound, as the Hawks will not fight for the premiership for a while and have a new coach who has been given the power to make long-term decisions.

But the timing is skewed. Bad. Had Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara and Chad Wingard been on the block by 2020, a number of rival clubs would have had the capacity to make such a deal work. O’Meara, for example, could have been preferred over Adam Treloar by the Bulldogs.

The market for the Hawk trio is far more limited in the post-season 2021.

Jack Gunston, which was also available at the right price during this trading period, was also available last year. However, the Hawks were not willing to give him away in the same way they discarded their current coaches, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis, for draft picks in 2016.

When coaches Mitchell and Lewis were replaced five years ago, Mitchell’s predecessor Alastair Clarkson and then list manager Graham Wright sacrificed these veterans, partly to make room for O’Meara and the new Mitchell – the players themselves who find themselves consumables, at the right price, today.

Such is the life cycle of an AFL football player.

Jaeger O'Meara, Chad Wingard and Tom Mitchell.

Jaeger O’Meara, Chad Wingard and Tom Mitchell.Credit:Aging

Hawthorn now knows that 2021 is not a seller’s market. Few clubs have salary caps thanks to the COVID-created salary deferral (cuts from this year will be given back next year). The clubs that have the opportunity to pay a high-end player – Adelaide, North Melbourne, Essendon are at the top of the list – are in a similar position as Hawthorn, as they look far and want to get stuck in their first round. pluk.

Conversely, the clubs that could use a 28-year-old midfield gun to improve their premiere prospects – e.g. Richmond – no room in the hat, and they are also reluctant to part with the kind of draft pick, inside 15, that the Hawks would accept.

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