Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reviewing Hawthorn's Trade Period

Losing Sam Mitchell killed our Gains!
Check Mate in Chess is the first thought that came to mind as Hawthorn's wheeling and dealings came to an end in the 2016 trade period.

The bonus was we gained to vindicated midfield guns in Jaegar O'Meara and Tom Mitchell as well as the oft victimised big forward Tyrone Vickery. A player that our mass of fickle fans are already bagging but will end up being every bit as valuable as David Hale as a contested forward and second ruck.

Losing Mitchell nulls and voids to a large degree all our acquisitions in the short term.  Mitchell would have been a perfect compliment to the two mids in the shielding he would have given them allowing them to find their feet while slipping under the focus of oppositions due to all the attention he dictates. It would have been quid pro quo with Sam also benefitting from the support the duo would have afforded him after spending most of 2016 as a virtual midfield lone ranger.

Despite the fanciful tale coming out of the club that he left to pursue future coaching endeavours, I view this as a load of old codswallop. He could have stayed with us and been inundated with coaching offers when he chose to leave. No doubt he was pushed with it a desperate salary dump to allow the pursuit of targets. The re-signing of other veterans like Hodge, Gibson and Burgoyne midseason was  trigger happy and should have been held off till after the season.

In fact, there was no justifiable reason given why their signings were not held over till the end of the year!

Gibson and Hodge are club legends, but they should have been sacrificed before Sam with both having Father Time lurking in their shadows.

Brad Hill going might not furrow the brows of many Hawk fans but he is a huge loss robbing us of his line breaking speed and running to position so crucial in creating space for our game plan to thrive. It will put the acid on Billy Hartung to lift, but he had many chances this year to seal a spot and looked lacking in many areas. If  these struggles continue  it puts greater pressure on Smith to be the man with the burden of a likely  heavy tag.

Maybe a bolter like Teia Miles can add some outside run.

Jordan Lewis no longer being at the club is hurtful because of the love and respect he is held in by fans but I think he is a fair way past his best. A good analogy would be Brad Sewell and how the game passed him by with the upping in pace.

The 'chess pieces' aside,the other main concern was while looking to our present and future in the deals we did we also compromised it with how we ratified them. Our first pick in the 2016 draft is now 88 as well as trading our first and second pick from the 2017 draft.

Raising the point of why we didn't use players to get the deals done????

Many of the players we did float having little or no appeal to rival clubs pointing to the concern over the diminished quality in our depth. We could, and pointedly should have been more ballsy in using a few players of value to get viable picks in the draft to bring some bright kids in.

Rant aside, here is my take on the 'newbies'

Jaegar O'Meara 

A once in a generation player that will electrify our supporter base. I can see him Captaining the club and ending his career as a club legend

Fans will point to him not playing for two years and the concerns over his knees. My response, show some faith in the professional nature of our club and the fact our fitness team would have checked him thoroughly before giving the green light to the recruiting team to chase him

Tom Mitchell 

Great pick up that will be a gun in time but I think we will need patience with him

Our midfield is nowhere near as accomplished as the midfield he came from where he had the shielding of vindicated guns like Kennedy, Hannebary, Parker, Jack and Heeney. With his namesake leaving he might walk in as our number one midfielder meaning he might get tagged.

He will be a gun, but it might take him a little while

Tyrone Vickery

Sadly our supporter base is already bagging him and with our irrational boo boys leeching onto him already he will rarely get fair treatment.

He is a under performing contested big forward and very able second ruck that has had his footy career curtailed by the rancid environment at Tigerland. In our culture, he will thrive and be every bit as valuable, and I think even more so than David Hale was.

40+ goals every year at our club.

Other Fan Views:

Cary McGrath- Hawks get there 2 midfield guns and a giant bag of spuds. Cost = no worthy picks this year or next.

Alastair McKibbin Sniper-like precision, but were they the right targets and was the cost acceptable?
Colin Walsh  "Trade week, over 9 days means you now really play your cards close to your chest, and believe a deal will eventually get done,"its not over, til its over"

Our Prospects in 2017 

If Sam Mitchell was still at the club to compliment O'Meara and Tom Mitchell it would have formed a lethal midfield trio. Him going lessens their threat in the immediate future for they will get immediate focus while still trying to find their feet at the club. Particularly O'Meara who is still coming back from a major injury.

It will see us still be in the top 8 but not be a real contender.

To contradict this it would rely on a few on the outskirts of our team really lifting as well as the veterans that remain still being at the top of their games. I think Josh Gibson will struggle with greater opposition attention nullifying a key in Clarko's game plan. Also, while it hurts me to say, I think Luke Hodge's best is behind him and maybe he should have retired this year.

Of the youth, I think Ryan Burton will be a gun and Kieron Lovell looks like a jet. A smokey could be Teia Miles, who if not for injury would have debuted this year and has a lovely bit of mongrel and pace.

Prediction- 6-8

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