Can Hawthorn succeed while ignoring the elite end of the draft? - Part 2

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Bunk Moreland

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This is PART 2 of this thread.

PART 1 can be found here:



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There’s been clubs that have deprioritised the draft before, but Hawthorn really seems to be taking it to the next level.

The first two rounds of the draft are obviously where the elite juniors are. Throw in a few compensation picks etc, let’s call it the top 40 picks. This is the sum total of Hawthorn’s top 40 draft picks for eight years:

2011 #33 Brad Hill – traded
2011 #38 Jordan Kelly – delisted
2012 #28 Tim O’Brien
2013 #24 Billy Hartung – delisted
2013 #38 Dayle Garlett – delisted
2014 #31 Daniel Howe
2015 #19 Ryan Burton – traded
2015 #22 Kieran Lovell – out of contract?

None in 2016, 2017 or 2018 (their first pick will be #53)

Now of course it’s not like they have no talent coming onto their list... they’ve nailed some later picks, and brought in top players through trading – though of course with trades, you pay more than you do at the draft, so it makes getting quantities of talent difficult.

Can they possibly compete for a flag without using the elite end of the draft? Where will this leave their list?

It’s interesting that some pundits – namely Dal Santo and Johnson last night – have them tumbling down the ladder in 2019. That, in itself, wouldn’t be a disaster – it’s only one year and happens to all clubs. But have they got enough talent to haul them back up if it did happen?

People point to Clarkson – who is a genius and one of the greatest coaches of all time – but even for him, this is new territory. He won four flags, but look at some of the core of those teams:

Hodge (pick 1), Roughead (pick 2), Franklin (pick 5), Lewis (pick 7), Rioli (pick 12), Birchall (pick 14), Shiels (pick 34), Mitchell (pick 36).

Of course they added to it, but that huge core quantity of stars came from the only place you can get them cheaply - the pointy end of the draft.

Can this current approach work?? It’s fascinating. Since the draft was introduced, I’m not sure there’s a club that has had the balls to sideskirt it so heavily.
 
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Sixpence

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Will Hawthorn regret not taking Irving Mosquito? May not have been taken at the elite end of the draft, but obviously Hawthorn didn't rate him too highly if they let him slip through. After last night's efforts he looks like he has a ton of raw talent and energy and could play a handful of AFL games this year. In my humble opinion, this could really come back to bite Hawthorn. What does everyone else think? I'd love to hear some opinions on this.
Did Essendon take Mozzie in the elite end of the draft?
 

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hk89

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Mmm

Worrying signs for hawthorn after crunch practice match v the Dees
Wasn't pretty, looked very fumbly with only two weeks to sharpen up. On the plus side:
- despite being deplorable for most of the game, we were in front with a minute or two left in the third quarter, before letting Melbourne kick the last 6 goals of the game.
- Only two less scoring shots.
- Got another game into Tom Mitchell.
- Wasn't smashed by Gold coast.

On the down side:
- Conceded last 6 goals of the game.
- Most players couldn't hit the side of a barn.
- Forward line still looks like an issue, now compounded with an injury to Lewis.
- Play like that in season proper and we might get smashed by Gold Coast.
 

Tig017

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My god Hawthorn are slow. Looked like a team of snails in the 4th quarter.

This is what happens when you have too many old players. Puopolo was complete garbage last year, but good old Clarko was driven to keep him on the list, being one of his personal favorites.
 

hk89

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My god Hawthorn are slow. Looked like a team of snails in the 4th quarter.

This is what happens when you have too many old players.
That might not be helping, but that's not the main reason we looked slow. Constantly turning the ball over at inopportune moments exposing us to quick rebounds is largely what made us look so slow. Any team looks slow when they are constantly getting burnt on the turnover.

Puopolo was complete garbage last year, but good old Clarko was driven to keep him on the list, being one of his personal favorites.
To be fair, he only got a contract extension at the last minute. We were clearly hoping we could pick up an adequate replacement during trade, and only signed him once that didn't happen. The spot he fills is definitely a weak point in the current side.
 

master bate

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I see 2 problems for the Hawks:

1. Keeping depth when you're up for so long is very hard. Older guys keep their spots on the side so much that you don't get to try some underrated gems and you keep picking towards the middle or back end of drafts and struggle to replenish that depth.

If you add Impey and Hardwick down back then it's a far more balance and better backline. Gunston - probably the most efficient forward in the game at his best - up forward and that unit looks better. But clearly the depth isn't what it once was for the Hawks.

2. The big trade items - Mitchell, O'Meara, Wingard probably just aren't delivering enough class for importing 3 big names and reworking the midfield.

Mitchell's been great value, but even if he's the best accumulator and stoppage ball winner in the comp that's not a super highly valuable role. He's been a great value buy in isolation but there's an opportunity cost of using the draft pick on longer term upside, going down the ladder and getting more high draft picks and coming back up. Hard to ding Mitchell for that but more in conjunction with the overall strategy.

The same thing sort of applies to O'Meara. He's been consistent but if he's not going to be the player we thought in his first two years it's hard to redeem the full costs.

And Chad. Can't over-react after a couple of preseason games but the Chad is still the one who hasn't had major injuries and has the class that's hard to find anywhere but the top of the draft. But it's about time he delivers.
 

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hk89

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I see 2 problems for the Hawks:

1. Keeping depth when you're up for so long is very hard. Older guys keep their spots on the side so much that you don't get to try some underrated gems and you keep picking towards the middle or back end of drafts and struggle to replenish that depth.

If you add Impey and Hardwick down back then it's a far more balance and better backline. Gunston - probably the most efficient forward in the game at his best - up forward and that unit looks better. But clearly the depth isn't what it once was for the Hawks.
Our depth is considerably better this year that it has been for several years. I'd include the final year of the 3-peat in that. What we still lack is depth of class in the midfield, which you touch on in your next point.

2. The big trade items - Mitchell, O'Meara, Wingard probably just aren't delivering enough class for importing 3 big names and reworking the midfield.

Mitchell's been great value, but even if he's the best accumulator and stoppage ball winner in the comp that's not a super highly valuable role. He's been a great value buy in isolation but there's an opportunity cost of using the draft pick on longer term upside, going down the ladder and getting more high draft picks and coming back up.
Sorry, but that just sounds like rubbish to me. You are actually questioning the opportunity cost of using pick 14 in the draft, versus using pick 14 to pick up a player that wins the Brownlow two years later. You are basically arguing that we should use our picks poorly so that we go down the ladder and get more early picks (that we may or may not also use poorly). You should apply for a spot on the Carlton list management team.

The same thing sort of applies to O'Meara. He's been consistent but if he's not going to be the player we thought in his first two years it's hard to redeem the full costs.
It is deals like Mitchell for pick 14 that allows us to get away with overpaying in other areas. No clubs "wins" every trade it makes. Hawthorn have probably won more than they've lost, I'd also say they buggered up as many early picks as they've hit, so I reckon their hit rate on trades is probably better than their hit rates on turning high picks into guns, and fully endorse their strategy of using picks in trade rather than the draft when trades that can fill holes in the list arise. Given Lewis and Mitchell were on their last legs, there is no doubt we had to get midfielders in to replace them, and I'm glad they paid for ready made ones rather than spending many years on the bottom like Carlton have - and who knows how much longer Carlton fans will be waiting for that strategy to bare fruit. How many times has Melbourne played finals in the last 10 years with their bottom out strategy?

And Chad. Can't over-react after a couple of preseason games but the Chad is still the one who hasn't had major injuries and has the class that's hard to find anywhere but the top of the draft. But it's about time he delivers.
He was very good in games late last season after he got over his pre-season and in-season injury issues, and I'm fairly confident he'll be good again this year. If you look at his numbers at Port he was pretty decent there too in the couple of years before he left. The idea that Chad is a chronic under performer is only relative to his immense talent. Hopefully we see a bit more of his talent this year, Hawthorn certainly need it. With Cyril gone, Hodge gone, and Burgoyne able to spend less and less time pinch hitting in the midfield, we do lack some class through the middle. We are strong on inside ball winners now, and actually have quite good depth in this department, but one more player to rotate through the midfield with Chad's class would be very very handy.

It looked like we had a fair bit of work to do based on tonight's display, but I didn't see much for Melbourne fans to be too excited by either. With half an hour to go, they were losing to a side that had been diabolical ball butchers all evening , and rotation choices from the extended bench in the last 30 minutes of the game had a reasonable impact on our ability to compete in the last quarter.
 

master bate

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Our depth is considerably better this year that it has been for several years. I'd include the final year of the 3-peat in that. What we still lack is depth of class in the midfield, which you touch on in your next point.
You've added Patton and Frost and the only kids who have locked in a spot are Lewis and Worpel - correct me if I'm wrong. Those 2 are great but predicting anything else is a guess if they never play. Scrimshaw and Morrison can play and I like Hanrahan but I like Hardwick and Impey a lot more!

With 7 over 30's you're going to need to nail the reclamation projects and the young guys to step up when called on.
It is deals like Mitchell for pick 14 that allows us to get away with overpaying in other areas. No clubs "wins" every trade it makes. Hawthorn have probably won more than they've lost, I'd also say they buggered up as many early picks as they've hit, so I reckon their hit rate on trades is probably better than their hit rates on turning high picks into guns, and fully endorse their strategy of using picks in trade rather than the draft when trades that can fill holes in the list arise. Given Lewis and Mitchell were on their last legs, there is no doubt we had to get midfielders in to replace them, and I'm glad they paid for ready made ones rather than spending many years on the bottom like Carlton have - and who knows how much longer Carlton fans will be waiting for that strategy to bare fruit. How many times has Melbourne played finals in the last 10 years with their bottom out strategy?
I don't think the 2 available strategies were trade a stack of picks for ready made players or bottom out right to the depths of Carlton and Melbourne. It was possible to mix in a variety of trading in, trading out and being aggressive at the draft.

There was a time when Hawthorn did aggressively trade for more picks - including trading 2 gun key position prospects for a number 1 pick - and turn to the draft and it set up a dynasty.

Collingwood are a good example of a side that went back to the draft and took their medicine for a few years and ended up with Grundy, De Goey, Stephenson and Moore plus trade ins like Treloar and Howe and restocked their elite talent.

West Coast in the latter Worsfold years took a step back and got Nic Nat, Kennedy, Darling, Shuey, Gaff to build with.

The really good teams have special players who can stand up on the big stages. Sicily is one for the Hawks. Gunston certainly used to be one, might still be. Burgoyne of course was one of the greats. But Mitchell, O'Meara and Wingard as 3 big ticket trade ins when the list lacks obvious elite talent around them - I don't really see that as a way to make sure you have the best of the best game changing talents.

The Cats landed a top 3 player in the game in Dangerfield and a game changing mid in Tim Kelly, then even signed on for some more footy from one of the greatest in Gaz Jnr and couldn't make it past a prelim. Hawthorn might have a better coach but it's a long way to the top when you're plugging gaps.
 

hk89

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You've added Patton and Frost and the only kids who have locked in a spot are Lewis and Worpel - correct me if I'm wrong.
We also picked up Michael Hartley in the PSD for extra KPD coverage (and potentially ruck given his height) O'Brien's emergence as a player who can actually look AFL level both forward and back also also a depth factor.

At the start of last year we had the worst midfield in the competition due to our lack of depth. Shiels was our third best mid which isn't ideal, he's not a dud, but is better as the 4th or 5th best (he's been 3rd fiddle before but we had more class rotating through then). Then Wingard started playing a lot of midfield minutes after he got over his niggles, and Worpel had a breakout second half of the season. With Mitchell back in the side, Shiels is suddenly arguably our 5th best mid:
Mitchell, O'Meara, Wingard, Worpel, Shiels. Its a great ball winning midfield now, albeit lacking in some silky class (Worpel has also not shown great form in the pre-season games, and seems to below the best he showed last year, but hopefully he can build back up to that). We also got Finn father son who has a body that could allow him to play seniors this year. We've also had some improvers from players previously on the fringe of the best 22. Its certainly not the best midfield unit in the competition, but its a good deal deeper than it has been for a while. If you exclude the kind of players from 2015 that played more in defence than core starting midfield, like Hodge and Burgoyne, I'd even argue its deeper than 2015 (but again, hurting from a lack of class rotations).

Up forward, we've gone from our two talls being Roughy and Gunston and then daylight, to having Patton, Lewis, Gunston, O'Brien (who was very good late last season, and will cause some selection headaches of the positive kind).

So that is a good deal more depth than we've had both forward , middle and back. It would have been nice to get some small forward depth sorted out, and it looks like in the absence of fixing that hole, we are going to play Burgoyne forward (wasn't great there tonight, but has been ok there in other practice matches). We might be a little light on for small defenders with Hardwick out for 12 weeks too and Impey likely missing a big chunk of the season, but we've got some medium defender coverage acquired over recent seasons like Scrimshaw, and picked up Greaves in the rookie draft who looks to be decent from the little I saw of him during the pre-season games. CJ is raw, but they might risk giving him more AFL exposure in Hardwick's absence.

Basically selecting our best 22 is a lot harder now than its been, and for good reasons not bad. Previously you'd be struggling to pick the worst of a bad bunch when it came to filling roles when a player went down, but right now its more about the difficulty of choosing from several viable alternatives in several of our spots, and more about questions of team balance, than finding the best compromise from a bunch of guys that are really more VFL than AFL level which has been the case for a while, especially in KPD roles.

So yeah, its more than just Patton and Frost, there are a bunch of PSD and rookie players we picked up and improvements from fringe players (or jumps up from best 22 players to another level) that contributes to me saying we have more depth than we've had. I don't think you'll find many Hawthorn fans who don't agree that this is our deepest list for at least 3-4 years.


With 7 over 30's you're going to need to nail the reclamation projects and the young guys to step up when called on.
Patton is probably the gamble we need most to come off. We did ok without Roughy in a lot of late season games, but Lewis is fairly inexperienced to carry that responsibility (not to mention his ankle is now under a cloud). We also need Mitchell to be back to his best to have any chance of finishing any better than the bottom half of the top 8. To make the 8, all we need is to perform as well as we did in the last 9 or so rounds of the season where we beat a bunch of top 8 teams, including 3 of the 4 prelim finalists (and didn't play the 4th during that period). This idea that we need a bunch of gambles to pay off is just wrong. We just need to reproduce the exposed form of the latter part of last season, where we were very good without Patton, without Mitchell, without Frost etc.

There was a time when Hawthorn did aggressively trade for more picks - including trading 2 gun key position prospects for a number 1 pick - and turn to the draft and it set up a dynasty.
Splitting hairs, but the second KP gun you speak of was a) not a gun at that time, although we rated him highly and b) wasn't really voluntarily part of the trade, he was going to go home anyway, so we threw him in as steak knives.

We've got the same number of players picked in the first round of the draft in the side this year as we had in the 2015 flag winning side. You don't need to get your high picks from the draft. That's the point of this thread.

Collingwood are a good example of a side that went back to the draft and took their medicine for a few years and ended up with Grundy, De Goey, Stephenson and Moore plus trade ins like Treloar and Howe and restocked their elite talent.
Is this the elite talent we beat in our last match against them?

West Coast in the latter Worsfold years took a step back and got Nic Nat, Kennedy, Darling, Shuey, Gaff to build with.
Is this the same West Coast we beat in our last AFL game in their 'must win to make top 4 and have a good chance at the flag' game?

The really good teams have special players who can stand up on the big stages. Sicily is one for the Hawks. Gunston certainly used to be one, might still be. Burgoyne of course was one of the greats. But Mitchell, O'Meara and Wingard as 3 big ticket trade ins when the list lacks obvious elite talent around them - I don't really see that as a way to make sure you have the best of the best game changing talents.
How talented are most players in the midfield outside your top 3 mids? Apart from GWS, the answer for most sides is "not that talented". You can't have 6 elite talents in each of your forward/backline/midfield groups (excluding the AFL's project clubs, which start approach that kind of status).

The Cats landed a top 3 player in the game in Dangerfield and a game changing mid in Tim Kelly, then even signed on for some more footy from one of the greatest in Gaz Jnr and couldn't make it past a prelim. Hawthorn might have a better coach but it's a long way to the top when you're plugging gaps.
Geelong may well have won flags with their approach with a different coach. They also did an arguably much worse job of hole patching than we have, although we don't have the runs on the board to prove it yet, but we are several years behind their rebuild schedule due to the time to our last flag being that much shorter. You've mentioned their hits, and ignored a number of misses. In any case, this is the Geelong we beat fairly comfortably in the latter part of last year. We beat them more comfortably than Richmond did in the prelim, and we had to play them with Hawkins in the side. In fact we kept GWS to only slightly more than Richmond did the GF in our round 21 thumping of them.

Basically I don't hear a lot of analysis around why the team that beat Geelong, GWS, Pies, West Coast in the latter part of the year, needs "a lot to go right". Is it because you think 36 was fine for Burgoyne , but 37 is a step too far? Is it because you think Patton and Frost will make the side worse (perhaps as a Melbourne fan I could concede your point on Frost). Do you think Wingard and Scully with full pre-seasons will not make us better? Is it because you think Mitchell's return will make us worse? It seems to me it would be more accurate to say that a lot would need to wrong not for us to make finals rather than the other way around. Some things have gone wrong already, losing Hardwick is definitely a blow (larger than the relatively low rating many outside the club attach to him). Maybe we'll have some more bad luck, and the upsides I've mentioned above will not be enough to counter them. We have had a habit the last few years of starting very poorly and having to fight hard for finals, narrowly missing twice due to leaving the run too late, and go on to not follow late season good form into the start of the following season, so my confidence is somewhat tempered (especially after watching the skill-less debacle that occurred tonight).

Basically I don't see a lot of logic applied to predictions of Hawthorn's trajectory from season to season. People ignore most recent exposed form at AFL level (and no, practice matches don't really count for much), ignore any upsides we might have that could positively impact that form, and predict a large raft of things going wrong that could derail our season, as if those things are not risks for any club. Essentially this thread seems like a well that opposition fans like to come to throw a coin, wishing for a bad season for hawthorn, because they've had too many good ones over the years. Thread needs more logic and less wish fulfilment fantasies.
 
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Cotchins Hair Piece

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We also picked up Michael Harley in the PSD for extra KPD coverage
Thats only because you guys mistook him for Michael Hurley. No one has ever heard of Michael Harley. Wingard is a deadset spud and you don’t go recruiting players like Frost when your team already has questionable disposal and skills.
 

hk89

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Thats only because you guys mistook him for Michael Hurley. No one has ever heard of Michael Harley.
Well apart from the fact that I had a typo and missed the 't' in Hartley, you do understand what depth is right? If they were superstars they'd be getting a gig in a best 22 somewhere every week. Hartley played almost two full seasons at Essendon. Admittedly mostly during the time their players had been caught drug cheating and their best defenders were not allowed on the field, but he's still handy depth.

Wingard is a deadset spud
Yes, dual AA and dual best and fairest winning spud.

and you don’t go recruiting players like Frost when your team already has questionable disposal and skills.
Makes sense on why Melbourne let him go then. Is there a less skilled team in the competition? #1 for average clangers last year, and third worst disposal efficiency (above only Blues and GC). Hopefully tonight was an example of the low care factor put into pre-season games, but skill levels of both sides was deplorable. Admittedly ours was worse on the night, but we were 6th for best disposal efficiency last year, so hopefully just a bit rusty, unlike Melbourne who have a track record of being absolute ball butchers. Even in 2018 when people mistakenly thought Melbourne were good, you were still 5th worst for disposal efficiency and top 3 for clangers. Definitely no room for Frost , whose disposal efficiency last year was about 4% above the Melbourne average across the entire side.
 

mattwa

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We also picked up Michael Hartley in the PSD for extra KPD coverage (and potentially ruck given his height) O'Brien's emergence as a player who can actually look AFL level both forward and back also also a depth factor.

At the start of last year we had the worst midfield in the competition due to our lack of depth. Shiels was our third best mid which isn't ideal, he's not a dud, but is better as the 4th or 5th best (he's been 3rd fiddle before but we had more class rotating through then). Then Wingard started playing a lot of midfield minutes after he got over his niggles, and Worpel had a breakout second half of the season. With Mitchell back in the side, Shiels is suddenly arguably our 5th best mid:
Mitchell, O'Meara, Wingard, Worpel, Shiels. Its a great ball winning midfield now, albeit lacking in some silky class (Worpel has also not shown great form in the pre-season games, and seems to below the best he showed last year, but hopefully he can build back up to that). We also got Finn father son who has a body that could allow him to play seniors this year. We've also had some improvers from players previously on the fringe of the best 22. Its certainly not the best midfield unit in the competition, but its a good deal deeper than it has been for a while. If you exclude the kind of players from 2015 that played more in defence than core starting midfield, like Hodge and Burgoyne, I'd even argue its deeper than 2015 (but again, hurting from a lack of class rotations).

Up forward, we've gone from our two talls being Roughy and Gunston and then daylight, to having Patton, Lewis, Gunston, O'Brien (who was very good late last season, and will cause some selection headaches of the positive kind).

So that is a good deal more depth than we've had both forward , middle and back. It would have been nice to get some small forward depth sorted out, and it looks like in the absence of fixing that hole, we are going to play Burgoyne forward (wasn't great there tonight, but has been ok there in other practice matches). We might be a little light on for small defenders with Hardwick out for 12 weeks too and Impey likely missing a big chunk of the season, but we've got some medium defender coverage acquired over recent seasons like Scrimshaw, and picked up Greaves in the rookie draft who looks to be decent from the little I saw of him during the pre-season games. CJ is raw, but they might risk giving him more AFL exposure in Hardwick's absence.

Basically selecting our best 22 is a lot harder now than its been, and for good reasons not bad. Previously you'd be struggling to pick the worst of a bad bunch when it came to filling roles when a player went down, but right now its more about the difficulty of choosing from several viable alternatives in several of our spots, and more about questions of team balance, than finding the best compromise from a bunch of guys that are really more VFL than AFL level which has been the case for a while, especially in KPD roles.

So yeah, its more than just Patton and Frost, there are a bunch of PSD and rookie players we picked up and improvements from fringe players (or jumps up from best 22 players to another level) that contributes to me saying we have more depth than we've had. I don't think you'll find many Hawthorn fans who don't agree that this is our deepest list for at least 3-4 years.




Patton is probably the gamble we need most to come off. We did ok without Roughy in a lot of late season games, but Lewis is fairly inexperienced to carry that responsibility (not to mention his ankle is now under a cloud). We also need Mitchell to be back to his best to have any chance of finishing any better than the bottom half of the top 8. To make the 8, all we need is to perform as well as we did in the last 9 or so rounds of the season where we beat a bunch of top 8 teams, including 3 of the 4 prelim finalists (and didn't play the 4th during that period). This idea that we need a bunch of gambles to pay off is just wrong. We just need to reproduce the exposed form of the latter part of last season, where we were very good without Patton, without Mitchell, without Frost etc.



Splitting hairs, but the second KP gun you speak of was a) not a gun at that time, although we rated him highly and b) wasn't really voluntarily part of the trade, he was going to go home anyway, so we threw him in as steak knives.

We've got the same number of players picked in the first round of the draft in the side this year as we had in the 2015 flag winning side. You don't need to get your high picks from the draft. That's the point of this thread.



Is this the elite talent we beat in our last match against them?



Is this the same West Coast we beat in our last AFL game in their 'must win to make top 4 and have a good chance at the flag' game?



How talented are most players in the midfield outside your top 3 mids? Apart from GWS, the answer for most sides is "not that talented". You can't have 6 elite talents in each of your forward/backline/midfield groups (excluding the AFL's project clubs, which start approach that kind of status).



Geelong may well have won flags with their approach with a different coach. They also did an arguably much worse job of hole patching than we have, although we don't have the runs on the board to prove it yet, but we are several years behind their rebuild schedule due to the time to our last flag being that much shorter. You've mentioned their hits, and ignored a number of misses. In any case, this is the Geelong we beat fairly comfortably in the latter part of last year. We beat them more comfortably than Richmond did in the prelim, and we had to play them with Hawkins in the side. In fact we kept GWS to only slightly more than Richmond did the GF in our round 21 thumping of them.

Basically I don't hear a lot of analysis around why the team that beat Geelong, GWS, Pies, West Coast in the latter part of the year, needs "a lot to go right". Is it because you think 36 was fine for Burgoyne , but 37 is a step too far? Is it because you think Patton and Frost will make the side worse (perhaps as a Melbourne fan I could concede your point on Frost). Do you think Wingard and Scully with full pre-seasons will not make us better? Is it because you think Mitchell's return will make us worse? It seems to be it would be more accurate to say that a lot would need to wrong not for us to make finals rather than the other way around. Some things have gone wrong already, losing Hardwick is definitely a blow (larger than the relatively low rating many outside the club attach to him). Maybe we'll have some more bad luck, and the upsides I've mentioned above will not be enough to counter them. We have had a habit the last few years of starting very poorly and having to fight hard for finals, narrowly missing twice due to leaving the run too late, and go on to not follow late season good form into the start of the following season, so my confidence is somewhat tempered (especially after watching the skill-less debacle that occurred tonight).

Basically I don't see a lot of logic applied to predictions of Hawthorn's trajectory from season to season. People ignore most recent exposed form at AFL level (and no, practice matches don't really count for much), ignore any upsides we might have that could positively impact that form, and predict a large raft of things going wrong that could derail our season, as if those things are not risks for any club. Essentially this thread seems like a well that opposition fans like to come to throw a coin, wishing for a bad season for hawthorn, because they've had too many good ones over the years. Thread needs more logic and less wish fulfilment fantasies.
Not sure if big footy post or year 12 essay
 

Bradkli

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If success is winning flags like it should be than the answer to the question in this thread is simply no.

Clarko and the coaches figured this out last season if you watched the way we played, it took us nearly the entire season to kick 100 points. Yes we had some great wins second half of the season, but we also lost to a lot of average sides.

We are an 8-12 side and will be for the next few seasons. We simply don’t have enough elite talent and our depth in key areas is horrendous.

Forwards:

In our final hit-our before the start of the season, two of are small forwards were Puopolo and hanrahan. There wouldn’t be too many worse in the league. Patton will be a decent pick up but once the ball goes to ground he’s basically useless. You need elite small forwards to compliment him, that we don’t have. Mitch Lewis has potential but he’s still 2-3 years away from being a consistently good forward.

Midfield:

Midfield names on paper look good- mitchell, omera, worpel, shiels...not one of them can kick. The delivery from them inside 50 is deplorable. Again, Clarko knows this so he’s been forced to play Wingard in there...when Wingard came to hawthorn he was meant to be a forward, a Cyril replacement- go back and look at Clarkos comments. As we saw last season when Mitchell went down, there is no depth. Omera needs to be doing a lot more as well. Our supporters need to take their rose coloured glasses off. He’s been average at best since coming to us. He can’t kick and doesn’t kick enough goals. He would be a 4th or 5th mid in most sides. He’s our number 2.

Backline:

structurally the best aspect of our team, but with the losses of impey and Hardwick we are in huge trouble...you need run and carry in today’s game...so what do we do? Take our number 1 ruck and play him in defence when we already have Frawley, frost and scrimshaw.

The absolute biggest disappointment is the captain ben Stratton. After what he produced last season, making him captain again this season, when he is borderline best 22 player is one of the dumbest decisions the club has made in a long time. He will be lucky to be in the side come round 10.
 

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I see 2 problems for the Hawks:

1. Keeping depth when you're up for so long is very hard. Older guys keep their spots on the side so much that you don't get to try some underrated gems and you keep picking towards the middle or back end of drafts and struggle to replenish that depth.

If you add Impey and Hardwick down back then it's a far more balance and better backline. Gunston - probably the most efficient forward in the game at his best - up forward and that unit looks better. But clearly the depth isn't what it once was for the Hawks.

2. The big trade items - Mitchell, O'Meara, Wingard probably just aren't delivering enough class for importing 3 big names and reworking the midfield.

Mitchell's been great value, but even if he's the best accumulator and stoppage ball winner in the comp that's not a super highly valuable role. He's been a great value buy in isolation but there's an opportunity cost of using the draft pick on longer term upside, going down the ladder and getting more high draft picks and coming back up. Hard to ding Mitchell for that but more in conjunction with the overall strategy.

The same thing sort of applies to O'Meara. He's been consistent but if he's not going to be the player we thought in his first two years it's hard to redeem the full costs.

And Chad. Can't over-react after a couple of preseason games but the Chad is still the one who hasn't had major injuries and has the class that's hard to find anywhere but the top of the draft. But it's about time he delivers.
care to justify a rebuild strategy which can take ten years to come to fruition and sometimes never?

depth is better than any time since 2016
 

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go back to see clarkos comments? he clearly said wingard would be both a mid and a fwd. when theres plenty to criticize why make stuff up?

hes done better as a mid as he finds more space there. Clarko was ‘forced’ to play him there? Losing number 1 mid might just do that

when fwd, patton and wingard will take plenty of defensive attention. Need to look elsewhere to the relatively free fwds for goals
melbourne uber flooded last night. Nail some of our misses as goals and the whole game changes

our 3 practice games have seen equal numbers of shots on goal. We kicked straighter in one, less straight in two. Not a cause for concern
 

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More battlers than stars. Can't see them back to their glory years of the mid 2010s
no hawk fan is predicting that either. But what is success? A threepeat? No other team will do that either

With reference to the thread title, no hawthorn wont have another threepeat with the current list and strategy. But i reckon plenty of teams will go worse in the next three years. We will peak around 2022 before needing to replenish
 

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