Monday, September 19, 2016

My Trade Strategy for Hawthorn

Jaegar O'Meara- A must get for Hawthorn
The beating of the trade jungle drums has been deafening since Hawthorn's dream of a 4peat ended with the nightmare of a shock straight-sets exit from the finals.

With the comprehensive loss to the Western Bulldogs exposing the following weaknesses in our line up:
  1. A midfield that has been smashed consistently throughout 2016 in contested possession and the associated clearances. Key in this has been the inability of the inside midfielders. With an unhealthy reliance on many veterans who are starting to slow coupled with players on the fringes continually showing they are not up to it.

    Names like Will Langford, Jono O'Rourke and Billy Hartung have been hugely disappointing.
  2. An attack lacking a big contested presence with the absence of Jarryd Roughead to illness along with David Hale's retirement putting a focus on this. The likes of Tim O'Brien and Ryan Shoenmakers have been tried in the role but have come up well short. Others like James Sicily excited in the early parts of the season when he flew under the radar but as the season progressed and greater attention was shown to him he was exposed as lacking in many areas.
  3. The diminishment of our vaunted depth. The highlight of our threepeat has been the strength of the best 25 on our list. With any in our best 22 capable of making vital contributions in all games as well as others on the fringes. In 2016, this has become a memory, replaced by a soft underbelly in our team with players not up to it and exploited in many games.
The rebuilding of the midfield needs to be the priority with names such as Jaegar O'Meara and Tom Mitchell already targeted leading to the question of how to get them to the club.

Two Birds with One Stone

I would float this deal to secure both:

Luke Bruest and James Sicily to Gold Coast Suns

Jaegar O'Meara and pick 8 to Hawthorn

Pick 8 to Sydney for Tom Mitchell

The use of Bruest is two-fold, with it being a salary dump as well as looking to the end of next year where he is a free agent and could leave for free chasing big money. The use of James Sicily would outrage many of the Hawk faithful with many seeing him as a star on the rise and going so far to ordain him as the 'next Dermott Brereton.' I see him as a mark and kick type forward which is ok if he was 6'6 and 105 kgs but with him being 6'1 and 85 kgs his strength is too easy to counter. When this happens, his absence of a ground game not only renders him obsolete but also makes him very exploitable.

The club would be well advised to cash in on the hype attached to him like they did with trading Trent Croad back in the day before he is fully exposed as an average player lacking tricks.

Leading to the Sydney side of this cunning plan.

I think we will gain O'Meara quite easily, but Mitchell, and dealing with the Swans will be problematic. They will be adverse to giving a rival a chance to improve meaning they will play hardball. By the same token, it would be wise of us to give them draft pick(s) and the speculation that goes with it rather than a player that might improve them.

The offer of pick 8 should be sufficient which would still leave us with a first round pick.

If Tom Mitchell recommits to the Swans, they have the choice to use the pick in the draft to replenish the depth on the list, or have it as part of a 'Plan B' to trade for another player.

The 'Mitchell Plan B'

I would look long and hard at Hamish Hartlett from Port Adelaide if we could accomodate his wage demands.

As an outside runner with his lethal foot skills and great size he could play as a marauding winger or rebounding half back. He is touted to be on the trade block at the Power with him wanting to come to Melbourne and an offer of pick 8 should seal the deal

Ty Vickery

The much maligned big Tiger is a no brainer to sign through free agency with him adding a much needed contested element to our forward line as well a capable second ruck.

He has shown glimpses of his ability and a new environment away from the eat their own cauldron of Tigerland could be the making of him as a player.

Brad Hill

I think the club needs to do everything in their power to keep Hill. It is no coincidence that when he plays well he adds so much to the team. Even during the Friday loss to the Dogs, when he was up early we were in the ascendancy but with him fading we were overrun

If his heart is intent on returning to Perth and in particular Fremantle the club needs to target a 15-20 range draft pick or relative player in return. If Freo wants to play hardball the option is to look at garnering West Coast's interest.

Other Trade Bait

Ryan Shoenmakers, Angus Litherland, Will Langford,- All three have had enough chances to seal spots in the team but have come up short. None would represent great value but might be the throw in 'steak knives' to get another deal over the line.

If they cannot be traded, then sadly all three should be de-listed

Last Chance Saloon

The likes of Tim O'Brien and Billy Hartung are kept on the list more out of hope than any real faith. With both contracted till the end of 2017 they will have to become consistent performers in 2017 and beyond for patience must be running out on them.

I would listen to clubs showing interest in both, but if no justifiable offers come in I would keep both.

My Best 22 for 2017

B:Josh Gibson, James Frawley, Shaun Burgoyne

HB:Luke Hodge, Kaiden Brand, Grant Birchall

C:Isaac Smith, Sam Mitchell, Billy Hartung

HF.Jack Gunston, Ryan Burton,  Cyril Rioli

F:Paul Puopolo, Ty Vickery, Liam Shiels

FOL:Ben McEvoy, Jaegar O'Meara, Tom Mitchell/Hamish Hartlett

I/C:Ben Stratton, Brendan Whitecross, Kieran Lovell, Jordan Lewis


  1. Just one question, what colour is the sky in the fantasy land that you live in where Breust and Sicily is worth JoM and pick 8?

    1. Bruest is a guaranteed 50 goal a year small forward which at present is greater value than O'Meara who hasnt played in two years. When you throw in Sicily as well it is worthy of pick 8

      if Jaegar was what he was a few years back you would need 10 Bruests to get him

  2. I don't want to trade Bruest and I don't agree with you about Langford who has been injury prone the last couple of years but the rest of it makes a good deal of sense (even the parts about Bruest and Langford probably make sense but I still don't like them) and I think they should trade Hill. If he wants to go home, we need to extract value from Freo - that pick could be used to grease Sydney to release Mitchell if necessary.

    1. I think it is better to trade Bruest than have him leave at the ende of next year for nothing. Langers has had chances but is a butcher with the ball. i would fight to keep Hill but if his heart is in it I would try get the best deal. As for Mitchell from the Swans, you will need a decent deal to get him

  3. Saw on 360 last night Robbo say he would trade poppy b4 Breust as small 50+forwards are rare. I would definately keep poppy as his forward pressure probably creates many of those goals and gets himself some too. Dont worry about his quiet finals as he wasnt alone there. Langford and Hartung are true trade bait. It would not surprise me to see Litherland delisted

    1. Both langers/Hartung will get you little in return. Also with Hill going we need Hartung