Hence, I will quench my appetite by thinking ahead to the Hawks prospects in 2017, and making a few predictions:
1, Ty Vickery will be the recruit of the year in the AFL.
Vickery in his career has always been a player that attracts the boo boys
With it a standout among the Tigers faithful and already prominent within our fickle throng.
His reality is he could be a very able 2nd ruck in an Age where ruckmen are morphing more into ruck rovers and an answer to our contested marking issues forward.
A combination that will see him kick 40 goals in 2017 and finish in the top 5 in our B&F
2, Jono O'Rourke will finally repay the faith shown in him
The Hawks recruitment team rarely get it wrong
In the case of Jono O'Rourke, he has challenged this with him frustrating since joining us in 2015,
Past is past, with this the year that he will finally put it all together by becoming a very able ball winning inside mid that is also able on the outside.
3, Brad Hill will be a huge loss
Many Hawk fans celebrated seeing the back of Hill with them questioning his heart and toughness.
It paid little respect to the key role he played in Clarko's game plan with the space he created for others with his line breaking pace and running to position off the ball. In his absence, it exposes our lack of pace as well as putting a huge burden on Isaac Smith to carry the load without Hill's support.
Billy Hartung is a logical replacement but was exposed badly in 2016 making one question whether he can make it in the AFL
4, Ryan Burton will win the NAB Rising Star Award
Burton is currently listed at $31 to win the Award
My advice is to get on this big time with Burton a young key position player capable in both defence and attack with the quality of all the great ones- 'time'
5, Josh Gibson will struggle in 2017
The dual B&F winner has been a great player for the Club in the zone of role in defence.
In the finals last year, it was obvious teams targeted him, depriving him of this luxury by making him accountable for a man.
He looked lost and exposed with him torn between his natural instinct to zone off to aid others and punished when he did by his man being free and used.
It is likely this will continue in 2017 putting real acid on Gibbo
6, Jack Gunston will be used in bursts as a big wingman.
The adding of Vickery and return of Jarryd Roughead to the attack allows Clarko so many opportunities to use players in versatile roles
Part of this will see the use of Jack Gunston's underrated 'tank' in a midfield role on the wing. Aiding in defence with his size while being deadly dangerous losing his man in transition to attack as well as being a match up nightmare for opposition wingmen when he floats forward.
Also accentuating Gunston's cleverness as a player with his ability to set up goals with his skill and insightful entries into the forward line.
7, Luke Hodge's inspiration in 2017 will be a photo of Marcus Bontempelli
The iconic Hawks leader is the epitome of a proud warrior.
Rankling him all Summer will be memories of the young Dogs superstar making him look very old by smashing him in a match up as we crashed out of the finals last year.
Hodge will use this as his inspiration in 17, and it will not surprise to see the champ use his last season as a reminder to all of just how great he is.
Do not be surprised to see him star as a forward in 2017
8,Taylor Duryea will add grunt to the midfield
It stood out like dogs balls that our midfield was a bollcks in 2016 with the main frustration being our lack of contested ball winning ability.
Duryea could address this with his tough as teak style of play combined with his lethal left foot. Teia Miles would be a ready made replacement for him in defence as well
9, 2017 will be Luke Breust's last year at the Club
Breust will be a free agent at the end of 2017.
I think the combination of him being offered huge deals by rival clubs as well as the Hawks prioritizing others will see him leave. We got a sniff of this with his name floated as potential trade bait last year.
It will also allow them to get a high draft pick in compensation which will loom large after sacrificing most of their early picks in the 2017 draft as a means to get Jaegar O'Meara.
10, The end of the season will see free agent Nat Fyfe announcing he is signing a long term deal with the Hawks
Why not dream big????????????