Shepparton News

Hawthorn is happy with draft happenings

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Despite Chad Wingard’s social media posts and Luke Breust’s veto, Hawthorn is spruiking its controvers­ial AFL trade period as a positive for the struggling club.

The Hawks attracted plenty of media scrutiny as they tried to boost their draft hand by trading big-name players.

But Wingard made it clear with a couple of posts that he was going nowhere and similarly, Breust did not agree to a deal hatched late in the trade period that would have sent him to GWS.

Hawks list manager Mark McKenzie said they still have three draft picks inside the top 25.

He also contended their willingnes­s to trade senior players might have helped, not hindered, team spirit.

‘‘Sam (new coach Sam Mitchell) has been very open with the playing group, as a club we’ve been very open with managers, other clubs and the players who have been involved,’’ McKenzie said.

‘‘Actually, it might have even strengthen­ed our group, that we are open and honest with those players — I think they’ve appreciate­d that.

‘‘The biggest thing for us is they’re an excited, engaged and committed group and looking forward to being under Sam over the next few years.

‘‘The players have voted with their feet and hearts — they want to stay. That’s a positive for the footy club.’’

He said it was ‘‘fantastic’’ that Breust wanted to stay at Hawthorn.

McKenzie added they are ‘‘pretty comfortabl­e’’ with their top draft picks.

‘‘The good thing is we already had a pretty strong draft hand . . . we were looking to increase that,’’ he said.

The only player moves for Hawthorn ended up being Jonathon Ceglar to Geelong and fellow ruckman Max Lynch joining from Collingwoo­d.

Asked how far off Hawthorn is from a premiershi­p, McKenzie said ‘‘hopefully sooner rather than later’’.

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