‘We wanted a better hand’: Hawks missed out in 2021 but will stay aggressive

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Hawthorn recruiting brag Mark McKenzie admits the Hawks did not bring successful the improved draught manus they wanted done the commercialized play but insists their “aggressive strategy” volition remain.

The Hawks, with their premiership dynasty present a fading memory, had hoped to fast-track a rebuild done the commercialized period. Key figures Jaeger O’Meara, Tom Mitchell, Chad Wingard, Jack Gunston and Luke Breust were enactment up for merchantability successful speech for precocious draught picks, but a woody could not beryllium done.

Hawthorn did not amended   their draught  manus  arsenic  they had wanted.

Hawthorn did not amended their draught manus arsenic they had wanted.Credit:Getty Images

The Hawks had besides hoped to wide wage headdress abstraction arsenic beingness nether caller manager Sam Mitchell begins, but his superior task present is to guarantee that the players offered up for commercialized tin rapidly refocus connected the task astatine manus astatine Waverley.

“We wanted a amended manus and we explored that. Also, our strategy is not conscionable for 1 year. Our strategy is implicit a three- to four-year period, truthful if it remains with 3 picks wrong 25, and we are capable to get that implicit the adjacent 2 years, that is simply a beardown improvement for our footy nine and that is simply a beardown portion of our database absorption strategy,” McKenzie said nether fierce media questioning connected Thursday.

“Even though we tin inactive amended those picks [come the nationalist draft], if it doesn’t happen, we are inactive beauteous comfy with those 3 picks wrong 25 and we determination connected to absorption connected the adjacent mates of years and amended that country arsenic well.”

As it stands, the Hawks – having finished 14th this twelvemonth with lone 7 wins – person selections No.5, No.21 and No.24 successful November’s nationalist draft.

Greater Western Sydney had involvement successful Wingard and the NSW calved and raised Breust – the Hawks could person acquired prime 13 for latter, with an statement to wage a hefty chunk of the sharpshooter’s wage – but neither wanted to uproot and caput interstate. Giants database main Jason McCartney has suggested Breust did not person capable clip to afloat digest a move.

“But, successful the end, helium [Breust] didn’t privation to permission and that was large for our footy club. So that conscionable unopen down there,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie rejected claims Mitchell’s tenure was disconnected to a rocky commencement amid manufacture claims the Hawks had embarked connected a occurrence sale, and denied that they could person approached rival clubs earlier successful the twelvemonth seeking involvement successful the likes of O’Meara and Mitchell, declaring helium and his squad had worked connected database strategy for up to 3 months.

He said the choky wage caps of galore clubs and deferred payments into adjacent twelvemonth – these coming arsenic a effect of past year’s fiscal fallout from the pandemic – had contributed to what was a comparatively quiescent commercialized play but said the Hawks had been arsenic unfastened and assertive arsenic possible.

“I deliberation the champion happening astir the past mates of weeks, we person been precise open. Sam has been precise unfastened with the playing group. As a club, we person been precise unfastened with managers, different clubs, and the players who person been involved,” McKenzie said.

“I deliberation it mightiness person adjacent strengthened our radical that we are unfastened and honorable with those players. I deliberation they person appreciated that.”

Ultimately, the lone woody the Hawks completed progressive seasoned ruckman Jon Ceglar heading to Geelong, portion securing a young ruck of their own, erstwhile Magpie Max Lynch connected two-year contract. The Lynch woody included the Hawks trading a aboriginal third-round prime (tied to the Brisbane Lions) and their aboriginal third-round prime to the Magpies.

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