Coach – Alistair Clarkson
Points For – 6th
Points Against – 3rd
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Tom Mitchell
- Blake Hardwick
- Isaac Smith
- Jack Gunston
- Jaeger O’Meara
2018 Rising Star Noms
Harry Morrison (Rd 20)
James Worpel (Rd 21)
Ins – Chad Wingard, Jack Scrimshaw, Tom Scully, Darren Minchington, Jacob Koschitzke, Matthew Walker, Damon Greaves, Will Golds, Tom Mohr
Outs – Ryan Burton, Taylor Duryea, Kurt Heatherley, Kieran Lovell, Jonathan O;Rourke, Cyril Rioli, Ty Vickery, Brendan Whitecross, Dallas Willsmore
I think Hawthorn is the toughest team to predict this season. You look at their list and it feels out of balance and there are some aging players who you would think have their best behind them but then they have Clarkson, no other coach could have squeezed a top four performance out of that list last year. They don’t have the talent to be top 4 but there they were.
The backline was great last year. They definitely benefitted form the full ground defending but they also stopped teams and most weeks got the job done. Hardwick stepped up and gave really good support to Frawley. I think they will miss Burton who was one of their best users before they started messing with his form and moving him around. Sicily is a great talent and I am not convinced they wont swing him forward. I think they may need him more there. His lack of discipline he dsiaplys at times wont be as costly there either.
The midfield is serious worry now. So much feel onto Mitchell’s shoulders and without him I don’t know if they can win enough ball. They are really an injury in the middle away from a disaster. O’Meara can be expected to improve on last year. Mitchell carried players like Smith last year and listed those around him. They look short on depth need serious years from the likes of Worpel and Shiels to match last years result. I don’t know what to expect from Scully if anything at all.
The forward line gains a serious talent in Wingard but unless they move Sicily forward, they look short on marking players. Roughead is in the decline and Puopolo at times last year looked a shadow of his best. Breust was outstanding and Gunston found some of his mojo. They need more though and I don’t know where it is going to come from.
McEvoy is a quality first ruck and will need to have a fantastic year this year, they have some depth with Ceglar but you wouldn’t want to rely on him for long periods. Not much you can say about the coach that hasn’t been said. He will get the best out of the team and generally will find a way to get the best out of players that other people couldn’t.
Mitchell is a massive out, the one player they couldn’t afford to lose. They don’t have a lot of extractors and Mitchell is the best one in the game. I think it is going to cost them dearly. Before his injury I was thinking they were likely to drop towards the bottom of the eight. Unless someone steps up significantly in his absence, I think they are a very good chance to miss the finals. I think they belong between 8-10.