Hawthorn Hawks 2019 AFL Season Preview & Analysis
The Hawks are coming off a straight sets exit from the finals series and will be missing their reigning Brownlow Medalist. Can they find a way to reach September again?
Finished in 2018: 5th (15 wins, 9 losses)
Key ins: Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide) Tom Sully (GWS) Jack Scrimshaw (Gold Coast) Darren Minchington (St Kilda) Grant Birchall (injured)
Draft Picks: Jacob Koschitzke (#52) Matthew Walker (#63)
Key outs: Tom Mitchell (injured) Ryan Burton (Port Adelaide) Taylor Duryea (Western Bulldogs) Cyril Rioli (retired) Will Langford (retired) Brendan Whitecross (delisted) Jonathan O’Rourke (delisted)
Coach: Alastair Clarkson
Playing AFLX: Luke Breust (Rampage) Isaac Smith (Rampage) Chad Wingard (Deadly)
Summary: Losing the reigning Brownlow Medalist Tom Mitchell to a serious leg injury is a cruel blow for the Hawks who are coming off a somewhat surprising top four finish after the home and away season last year after missing the finals the previous season. They were bundled out in straight sets so there were plenty of questions to be asked during the offseason and their still without a captain after Jarryd Roughead stepped down.
They gave up a lot to land Chad Wingard who they hope can be the magic piece into an already lively forward line and lost two crucial staff members in assistant coach Brett Ratten and fitness coach Andrew Russell but they still have the best coach of the modern era in Alastair Clarkson and you can never write him off. Finals might be a stretch, especially with Mitchell out for the season but the line of 10.5 looks low for a team who managed 15 wins a season ago.
Key stat: Hawthorn had the equal best goal accuracy (50.3%) in 2018 and ranked #3 in disposal efficiency.
Round 1: Adelaide v Hawthorn @ Adelaide Oval – Saturday, March 23 – 04:35 PM
Best Brownlow Hope: Jaeger O’Meara
Prediction: Over 10.5 wins @ $1.90* with Sportsbet
*Prices correct at time of publishing