Pass, Play or Pounce

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With the silly season around the corner and with the Hawks set on injecting more youth into an already growing young list, we thought we would go through every single player who we can find.

We’ve thrown in a few fan suggestions that have been in the same breath as the Hawks, and we decide whether Hawthorn should:

  • PASS – ignore completely
  • PLAY – have interest in but don’t go over the top, or
  • POUNCE – go and get them!

So, let’s get stuck into it and a special thanks to every fan who got involved on the socials to help construct this list.

Rory Lobb (Fremantle) – Ruck/Forward 

With reports circulating a move back to Victoria or to the Gold Coast is on the cards mid-year, Hawthorn’s name was certainly thrown out there early, but this a forward/ruck who is on about 600k a year and the Hawks have got good ruck options and we believe there’s a ruckman already on this list that we should pounce on. – PASS

Liam Duggan (West Coast) – Defender 

Hasn’t re-signed at the Eagles yet, the half back flanker definitely wants a role in the midfield, but the Eagles released on August 3 that he and Jarrod Brander (who was also on the radar) will get done very soon so it’s out of our hands. The Hawks’ draft capital, especially at 21 and 24 needs protection at most cost so no go for the Dug. – PASS

Daniel Talia (Adelaide) – Key Defender 

Talia was informed by the Adelaide Football Club that he would not be offered a new contract for 2022 and there’s no doubt suitors will come for him. Hawthorn might show their draft hand here; if GWS grab Talia to help Sam Taylor because Phil Davis is getting on a touch, the Hawks could go all in and get Victorian prospect Josh Gibcus, who’s the best key defender in the draft by miles. As for Talia, the Hawks have already got a key back from Adelaide and should target other areas, especially with James Sicily and Denver Grainger-Barras to come back into the side. – PASS

Nick Coffield (St.Kilda) – Defender 

Coffield’s situation is a really interesting one at St.Kilda. The former top ten draft pick just isn’t living up to his potential as a half back flanker, who’s in and out of the side. He’s an underrated user of the footy and could be a big body midfield option? Without a third round pick this year, the Hawks might offer their third next year so it’s an option to look at. (A tenth placed finish would have that pick at 45 for reference) – PLAY

Quinton Narkle (Geelong) – Midfielder 

All the Talking Hawks lads, myself included, have been really strong on Hawthorn getting Narkle all year and it’s for good reason; the man can churn out clearances with ease, has blistering pace and just finds the footy. Geelong look set to lose Jordan Clark to Fremantle, Charlie Constable (see below) and Narkle in the off season and of course the price matters, but Narkle has No.1 trade target potential written all over him. – POUNCE

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Charlie Constable (Geelong) – Midfielder 

I’ve also been really strong on Constable all year; his VFL form is frightening and even when he plays at senior level, Chris Scott isn’t giving him enough game time. Reports have emerged that Richmond is his preferred destination and I’ve softened my stance a touch. This isn’t due to his ability, but Conor Nash can develop, James Worpel gets another season in him of course and we aren’t sure about James Cousins – he and Charlie had similar draft notes. – PLAY

Max Lynch (Collingwood) – Ruck 

Jonathan Ceglar was a ruckman who was lauded over his ability to ‘stick it’ up other Pies ruckman during his time at the club, and the Hawks may swoop twice in the tall stocks. Whilst we aren’t sure how Sam Mitchell feels about two ruckmen, having Lynch and Ned Reeves develop together until Ben McEvoy’s and Jonathan Ceglar’s tenures expire is a win-win and he won’t cost much at all. Love everything about this. – POUNCE

Will Brodie (Gold Coast) – Midfielder 

Last year’s trade period was a strange one for Brodie, given there was a feeling around every media outlet that he and Essendon were coming together. However, Jye Caldwell made his way to The Hangar and Brodie’s price has dropped. Has struggled for form but has a lot of potential under a better system (Jack Scrimshaw anyone?) but ultimately, Hawthorn have got too many players like him already. – PASS

Jacob Hopper (GWS) – Midfielder 

Keen eyed observers’ ears shot up when Hopper’s contract had stalled at the Giants and interest has only grown. Hopper shed his young body last season and is now a bull in a stacked Giants midfield, outside of GWS he has the potential to be a number two midfielder. However, with a little digging, it seems a two-year deal is being finalised in the western suburbs of Sydney, but the question should still be asked. Fingers crossed the Hawks don’t go over the top for price, but the question needs to be asked until he’s been resigned. – PLAY

Jake Riccardi (GWS) – Utility 

In a very blunt way, Riccardi needs to work out his best position and do it quickly. He burst onto the scene as a key forward for the Giants, before being played down back and even on a wing at VFL level. His size, shape and skill set would be amazing at Hawthorn and at nearly 22, his age profile fits amazingly. If Sam can find a role for the 195cm ‘utility’, it’d be a good get, but without a full plan it’s probably a pass as I can’t find a full-time role for him. Keep an eye on him throughout the draft period. – PASS

Peter Ladhams (Port Adelaide) – Ruck

The more expensive Max Lynch, Ladhams has upgraded himself to a forward threat, especially in the last month or so. Sydney chased him very hard in a swap for Allir Allir last year and his price has probably jumped a touch. Lynch is the priority in the ruck stocks, but the question can still be asked, as I suspect Ladhams and Scott Lycett won’t be at the same club in 2022. – PLAY

Ely Smith Brisbane Lions

Ely Smith (Brisbane) – Midfielder 

When Tom Scully came to Hawthorn for a fourth-round pick, playing a solid first year at the club, it was like Hawthorn had hit a gold mine in trading late picks for high draftees who needed a fresh start. But because it’s worked so well for Jack Scrimshaw, it’s now the ‘Scrimma Rule’. My nomination for the Scrimma Rule this year is Ely Smith, who Brisbane took with Pick 21 in 2018. The 20 year old is a big body midfielder who won’t cost us a dime, as Brisbane’s midfield depth is just nuts. The Scrimma rule is a thing and it’s catching on. – POUNCE

Dylan Stephens (Sydney) – Midfielder 

Another player I’ve been high on the Hawks getting all year. Hawthorn wanted Dylan Stephens in the draft before the Swans snapped him up in 2019 and it might be a nice twist of fate that he’s in the brown and gold. Stephens is a left footer (tick), fills an outside midfield role (tick) and is a lovely kick of the footy (tick). Whilst he won’t qualify for the Scrimma role, a deal would need to favour the Hawks as he’s not quite a pounce, but the question needs to be asked and asked passionately. – PLAY

Stephen Coniglio (GWS) – Midfielder 

Everything about the attempt on Coniglio last season made so much sense and there were huge pushes for the Hawks to get it done. Whilst it’s arguable Coniglio’s price is lower than last season, his monster deal needs to be paid somewhere and the Hawks’ salary cap space could be put in other holes. I love Stephen Coniglio and wish him nothing but success but with the Hawks’ new generation coming up, he’s not the ‘Cog’ that’s missing anymore. – PASS

Across the league, the Hawk’s off season is one of the more interesting, but for us humble Hawk fans maybe getting as much draft capital in takes precedence over looking towards opposition clubs (sounds perfect for the Scrimma Rule). Whatever happens, it will be exciting to watch and hopefully read about, so don’t go anywhere when it comes to the Talking Hawks content just stick around and enjoy!

Written by Rhys Knight

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