Season 2021 - Hawthorn

Hawthorn

Coach – Alistair Clarkson

2020 –

Points For – 11th
Points Against – 16th

Top 5 Best and Fairest

  1. Jack Gunston
  2. Tom Mitchell
  3. Chad Wingard
  4. Ben McEvoy
  5. James Worpel
  6. James Sicily
  7. Liam Shiels

2020 Rising Star Noms

Will Day (Round 16)

Ins – Kyle Hartigan, Tom Phillips, Denver Grainger-Barras, Seamus Mitchell, Connor Downie, Tyler Brockman, Jack Saunders

Outs – James Frawley, Conor Glass, Will Golds, Ricky Henderson, Harry Jones, Darren MInchington, Paul Puopolo, Jackson Ross, Isaac Smith, Ben Stratton, Mathew Walker

My Prediction

This may be the year when the mass celebration of Clarkson drops off just a little bit. Finishing last year in 15th and having more talent exit than what they gained means they are likely to face another year in the bottom quarter of the ladder. Still relying on players they have traded for or brought in from elsewhere, they now need to start developing their own and it has been a long time since they did that successfully.

The backline loses Stratton and Frawley. The move of McEvoy back there looked good last year but now without experienced KP backs around him, I suspect he is much more likely to be found out much more regularly. Hartigan will step in on the full back line but he is a downgrade. Sam Frost is going to have to carry a greater amount of the work and he is generally a spud with occasional bouts of mediocrity. Scrimshaw looked to be finding his feet last year and played some good games, he should improve more and along with Hardwick will need to lift output. Impey provided ruin and drive from half back but in general, looks a very average back group.

Phillips is a hand addition to their wings and will run all day, not sure he is an upgrade on Smith but will partner well with Scully. Mitchell, Worpel and O’Meara is a pretty good engine room and will give most teams a bit to think about. Mitchell in his second year back after is broken leg is likely to improve on what we saw last year. Not convinced they work well both ways though and will give teams a chance to get on top.

The forward line is potent at its best with Gunston and Patton up front with Wingard and Bruest supporting them. They will miss Puopolo and need someone else to step up in the milking free kicks department. I thought O’Brien showed a bit more last year and think he may really break out this year. Burgoyne started to look a little shot last year and am sure he will still have an impact but it will continue to reduce as time goes on.

There isn’t much to say about Clarkson, clearly one of the best coaches of the modern era but also led a team that took advantage of a system designed to set up new teams. He would want to show that he can build another premiership team but I worry he is starting to look and sound like 2002 Sheedy. The rucks will be interesting this year. Ceglar is a good average ruck. I feel McEvoy is a better more impactful ruck but he is needed down back for now.

I don’t see Hawthorn improving on last year and wonder if this is the year that they start to get run over a little more often. It felt like the cliff was coming for them to fall off and finally last year they teetered over the edge. This year I expect they haven’t hit bottom yet. I think they will finish in the 15-17 range.

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Bottom 5

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Bottom 5 if they get a good run with injuries. Bottom 3 if they don’t.

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This assessment pleases me.

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Just a few points.

  1. I like how the Dawks are so ordinary they need 7 players to have a top 5. So good work there.
  2. I think you are over rating Frost, he is a seriously poor player, long may he play.
  3. The Dawks’ rucks would give Frost a run for his money. I agree with the point about McEvoy, he is their best, but is needed more elsewhere.
  4. Clarkson is a master coach, he made the most of what he had, but the players that were with him through all the success are all gone, and he has followed the path blazed by Sheedy in trying to pinch another flag with top ups, rather than go a full rebuild. Time has caught up with the club. They will continue to crash and burn, long may they burn.

Hawks best 22 (2021)

inj Sicily Knee

b: Hardwick Frost Grainger-Barrass
hb: Impey McEvoy Scrimshaw
c: Phillips Mitchell Scully
hf: Gunston O’Brien Burgoyne
f: Breust Patton Wingard
r: Ceglar, Worpel, O’Meara,
int: Downie, Day, Shiels, Greaves

Emg: Lewis, Hartigan, Hartley, O’Brien, Morrison

will be interesting whether McEvoy starts in defence or midfield

my tip bottom 4

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I thought I’d heard that Gunston was out for half the season or more.

Yep, dated from Dec 16th:

Hawthorn forward Jack Gunston will undergo surgery today for a bulging disc.

Chief of Football Graham Wright said that addressing the issue now should see the sharpshooter return to the field in the early part of the season.

“Jack has had some issues with his back in recent years and we’ve been able to manage it conservatively, recently however it hasn’t settled and in consultation with Jack, our doctors and his surgeon we believe surgery is in his best interest going forward,” said Wright.

“Recovery for this type of surgery is usually around 4-5 months and it’s important not to rush it.

“While it is disappointing that Jack will miss the start of the season, we won’t take any unnecessary risks and we look forward to seeing him back on the field early in the season.

“Jack is the ultimate professional and will undoubtedly approach his rehab with that same attitude.”

hope hawthorn is entering their “lost years” era just like richmond and essendon have done after an era of success.

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yeh heard that too (but forgot) he will be back at some stage this year. forwardline looks a lot weaker without him maybe Mitch Lewis gets a gig in the side if missing Gunston.

There is still some currency about the genius of Clarkson, don’t ever write him off, and Hawthorn will make the 8 in 2021 etc etc, but last time I watched footy it was the 22 blokes that take the field that actually play the game, the overall quality is not there, there are still 4-6 players in there whose hunger for continued success can be questioned. 15-17th seems about right.

While it is the players who win the game ultimately and the quality and depth of those players plays a big part, a very good coach can still make them play at that groups peak and achieve more that a lesser coach cannot. It’s why Ross Lyon is considered a good coach, he gets the best out of his group, regardless of their quality and depth. Clarkson can do the same.

That said, it is also possible that instead of trying to get them to win every game, instead they are focused on building the list and structure and system, even if that means losing in the short term.

The test for Clarkson isn’t how his team goes this year, but how well he can rebuild the side after they retirements of his great side of the last.

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Gee Tom Mitchell is looking lean

Seriously, stick Marc Bullen and Ben Haynes in that side and they’d be going places

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Patton is part of an internal investigation. Apparently sent lewd photos to a girl over social media.

A photo of The General playing with his privates?

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Lewd is that new word for nude photos?

Never heard of that term

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No it is a very old term, rarely used. It means crude or offensive in a sexual way.

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Ahh

Surely if a bloke sends a woman lewd photos we are talking dikpic

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