Hawthorn were the big winners of the AFL trade period after bolstering their squad with the arrivals Chad Wingard, Tom Scully and Jack Scrimshaw. The Hawks went in with a lean draft hand, but credit must go to Graham Wright for his impressive manoeuvring during a chaotic week. They sacrificed a promising youngster in Ryan Burton, while Taylor Duryea also departed and they are left with fewer picks, but Wingard has the potential to light up this team. The two-time All Australian has thrived over the past seven years for Port Adelaide and he is now entering his prime.
“Chad is an impressive young man and an accomplished player,” said a clearly delighted Wright. “To be a dual All Australian as a 25-year old is testament to the quality footballer he is. We look forward to Chad joining us for the 2019 season and beyond.”
Hawthorn Grand Final odds slashed
The leading gambling sites have responded by cutting the odds on Hawthorn winning next year’s Grand Final, but they are still considerable outsiders. Richmond lead the way in the betting, ahead of 2018 runners-up Collingwood. Then you will find West Coast, who beat the Magpies in a pulsating Grand Final to seize the premiership last month, followed by Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, Essendon and Sydney. Only then do you come to the Hawks, despite them finishing fourth in the ladder. It could be a result of their bruising playoff defeats against Richmond and Melbourne, but the Hawks should be a more formidable prospect to face next season.
They completed a remarkable deal to secure the services of Wingard. The deal went through at 11.52am on Wednesday in a deal which saw Burton head to Alberton, Hawthorn take Port’s future Round 3 selection and give up Picks 15, 35 and its future Round 4 selection, which was on-traded from the Western Bulldogs in the Taylor Duryea trade on Tuesday.
All change at Hawthorn
It was a dizzying spell and Wright said wished young Burton all the best going forwards. Ryan is a talented young player and we know he has a long and rewarding career ahead of him,” he said. “We are confident he will be a great asset to Port Adelaide. We want to thank Ryan for his dedication to the brown and gold and wish him all the best in his next chapter back home in Adelaide.”
There has been a mini-exodus at Hawthorn after the season ended. Cyril Rioli and Ty Vickery retired, while the club delisted top-two draft pick Jonathan O’Rourke, Kiwi Kurt Heatherley and rookie Dallas Willsmore. “On behalf of the club I would like to extend our thanks to Dallas, Jonathan and Kurt for their contribution to Hawthorn,” said Wright. “Each of these young men has demonstrated great commitment to Hawthorn and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”
Tough times for Kiwi star
No team has come in for Heatherley and his axing is particularly disappointing for AFL fans in New Zealand. The league does not have an enormous following over the Tasman Sea, but there was a lot of excitement around Heatherley and that boosted its popularity somewhat. He took an international scholarship from Hawthorn in 2013, aged 18, and became the first Oceania graduate to break through for a senior AFL match and senior listing. Heatherley joined the team in the 2016 season and made his debut against Melbourne at the MCG in round 20. He played four games in 2017, but his career has been blighted by injury.
It is a shame for New Zealand and any AFL fans there. Betting on AFL has become more popular in New Zealand in recent years, largely thanks to the emergence of players like Heatherley. Kiwis enjoy plenty of sports betting options and exciting casino games to choose from too. Pokies have a long history in New Zealand and there are around 18,000 machines in the country, with many more in Australia, so it’s to no one surprise that online slots are also a massive hit with Kiwis and Aussies. Leading sites will offer a wide range of exciting games for you to play, from popular classics like Mega Moolah and Starburst to quirkier online pokies such as Immortal Romance and Battlestar Galactica. They are simple, fun, easy and exciting, and the amount of variation is amazing. These games have always been popular among sports fans, and many have exciting sporting tie-ins. These fans have been wagering a lot of footy too, and Hawthorn will be heavily backed for glory next season.
Yet Hawks fans can console themselves about the losses of Burton, Duryea, Heatherley, Rioli and co by looking forward to a brave new era. If the medical staff can rehabilitate former Giant Scully’s ankle they will have a hell of a wingman on their books, while they retain the services of Jarryd Roughead, so it could be a really exciting 2019 for the Hawks.