Coach – Alistair Clarkson
Points For – 6th
Points Against –7th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Sam Mitchell
- Jordan Lewis
- Shaun Burgoyne
- Grant Birchall
- Cyril Rioli
2016 Rising Star Noms
James Sicily (Round 13)
Ins – Jaeger O'Meara, Tyrone Vickery, Tom Mitchell, Harry Morrison, Mitchell Lewis, Oliver Hanrahan, James Cousins, Ricky Henderson
Outs – Angus Litherland, Matt Spangher, Zac Webster, Lachlan Langford, Jermaine Miller-Lewis, Alex Woodward, Shem-Kalvin Tatapu, Brad Hill, Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis
Finishing third last year was flattering for Hawthorn, they found a way to win the close games. They would have easily been 7th or 8th and that is probably where they actually rated on performance.
The backline is a definite area of concern, Frawley needs a big year for them to improve. I thought Gibson showed worrying signs in the second half of last year where teams started to exploit him. They have a couple of young KP defenders who will have to find their footing this year for there to be any real improvement. They have brought in Henderson but I think for now they are ok for half backs. Birchall, Burgoyne, Stratton and Duryea give them enough depth for that area. It will be interesting to see how they structure, if the backline fails (and it could) they are in trouble.
The midfield has been bolstered but Jaeger and Mitchell. Mitchell will have an impact straight away whereas clearly O'Meara is gong to have to build to it. It is an interesting point as to whether they have had a net win with losing Sam Mitchell, Hill and Lewis to gain Tom Mitchell and O'Meara. They need it to be a net win next year whilst they still have Hodge, Burgoyne and Gibson. It will also be interesting to see the impact on the likes of Smith, Hartung and Shiels to lift. For mine the midfield is weaker than last year. Certainly a concern.
Ceglar and McEvoy are a good pairing and they have Vickery now which will give them some extra flexibility.
Great for the Hawks to have Roughead back, they need him and their forward line is an area that will improve on last year. Roughead, Gunston and Vickery gives them three marking options. Vickery should be more reliable just for getting the third defender each week. The only real concern is that all three players are a little similar but think they will be able to find a way. They are good for small forwards with Puopolo, Cyril and Bruest all capable of kicking a bag on any given day. They have Siciliy for depth and I imagine may play a little as a swingman this year. The forward line should be more dangerous than last year.
So by my reckoning, they are stronger up forward and in the ruck but the midfield is potentially weaker and the backline has the potential to be a liability. I dont see them improving this year. I think they will slide back slightly. They are still a top 8 team but will miss Mitchell a lot, he was the one who could turn the game especially in the close ones. I think this year they will be 7th or 8th.