Cresswell enjoying Hawks’ preseason, impressed with work ethic
Cresswell’s connections continue to bolster Hawks
The Hawks are two weeks into pre-season training and, after backflipping on his initial decision to step away from football, Cresswell is back in full coaching mode. “I’m loving it,” he said. “The numbers have been great – we’ve had between 35-45 at every session.
“Obviously we’ve recruited well and there are three or four we’re hoping to get before the season starts as well.
“Pup (Michael) Clark and ‘Gatto’(Shane Gaston) are flying, and (Dylan) Stone will be like a new recruit after coming off his leg issue last year.
“We’re also hoping to get Sean O’Keeffe back as well – I rate him extremely highly.”
The appointment of Cresswell has brought fresh enthusiasm to the Hawks group after what was the toughest season in the club’s history.
But Cresswell said the work the players were putting in on the track showed him they know how much they need to improve.
“I guess they probably knew given how fit we had Raiders,” he said.
“I spoke to them about expectations at the start of the pre-season and they’re doing four sessions a week so their working pretty hard.
“We set some goals for players to meet and I couldn’t be happier with the effort the boys are showing.”
The Hawks’ off-season recruiting isn’t over yet with Cresswell still in talks with several high quality forwards and midfielders.
Cresswell will also continue his partnership with Shane Wellington and Dave Nichol, who will be his assistant coaches just as they were at Wodonga Raiders, while he is also hoping to add a third assistant coach in the coming weeks.
WANGARATTA Rovers’ will have access to a former AFL player in 2019 with recently delisted Gold Coast defender Max Spencer set to play for the Hawks on a part time basis.
Spencer, 21, played eight games for Suns across 2017-18 after being selected as a pre-rookie selection in the 2016 draft.
But despite the Suns letting go of numerous key players in the trade period, Spencer was unable to keep his spot on the list with coach Stuart Dew opting to let go of the athletic defender.
Spencer has signed with the Hawks as his home club but has aspirations to return to the top level and will also sign with a VFL club, meaning he will play for Daryn Cresswell’s side when free of state league commitments.
Cresswell is well aware of Spencer’s ability given he was senior coach at the former Gold Coast Sun’s home club Palm BeachCurrumbin before joining Wodonga Raiders in 2015.
“He is a really good young player,” Cresswell said.
“He’s a key defender – 6”4’ and a very athletic centre half back.
“He was probably unlucky to get delisted in the end but having played in the AFL he’ll be invaluable to our group.
“It’s hard to know how many games we’ll have him for but we’re pretty pleased to have him on board.”
Spencer’s signing continues to the Hawks’ quest to return as a regular competitor in the Ovens and Murray after the club announced the signings of Matthew Medcraft, Tom McCaffrey, Noah Amery and Nick Murray last week.
ANOTHER SIGNING: Wangaratta Rovers’ new recruit Max Spencer duels with Melbourne’s Jesse Hogan in one of his eight senior games for Gold Coast over the past two seasons.