The Hawthorn clean-out may have been delayed by 12 months, but when it came, it blew in like a hurricane. And like any good hurricane, it may have left quite a bit of damage behind it.
Astute footballer followers saw this storm brewing on the horizon over 12 months ago. In the wake of Alastair Clarkson’s departure from Hawthorn, Sam Mitchell had a vision of building around youth, and that spelt trouble for anyone over the age of 28. I mean, they were not going to be in their prime when the Hawks next contended, were they?
And so, tales of Hurricane Sam working the phones, attempting to offload talent like Jaeger O’Meara, Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunston and Luke Breust following the 2021 season may have had a little substance about them, after all, huh? Even if those reports may have been stretching the truth a little, there was little doubt in the minds of many that those players would be moved on sooner rather than later. Irrespective of their accomplishments, their commitment to the club, or their desire to remain with the team, the new coach had his vision.
And that would require them to find a new team to call home.
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