Hawks defend contentious AFL trade period

Chad Wingard made it clear he didn't want to be traded out of Hawthorn.
Chad Wingard made it clear he didn't want to be traded out of Hawthorn.

Despite Chad Wingard's social media posts and Luke Breust's veto, Hawthorn are spruiking their controversial AFL trade period as a positive for the struggling club.

The Hawks attracted plenty of media scrutiny as they tried to boost their draft hand by trading big-name players.

But Wingard made it clear with a couple of posts that he was going nowhere and similarly, Breust did not agree to a deal hatched late in the trade period that would have sent him to GWS.

Hawks list manager Mark McKenzie said they still have three draft picks inside the top 25.

He also contended their willingness to trade senior players might have helped, not hindered, team spirit.

"Sam (new coach Sam Mitchell) has been very open with the playing group, as a club we've been very open with managers, other clubs and the players who have been involved," Mitchell said.

"Actually, it might have even strengthened our group, that we are open and honest with those players - I think they've appreciated that.

"The biggest thing for us is they're an excited, engaged and committed group and looking forward to being under Sam over the next few years.

"The players have voted with their feet and hearts - they want to stay. That's a positive for the footy club."

He said it is "fantastic" that Breust wanted to stay at Hawthorn.

McKenzie added they are "pretty comfortable" with their top draft picks.

"The good thing is we already had a pretty strong draft hand ... we were looking to increase that," he said.

The only player moves for Hawthorn ended up being Jonathon Ceglar to Geelong and fellow ruckman Max Lynch joining from Collingwood.

Asked how far off Hawthorn are from a premiership, McKenzie said "hopefully sooner rather than later".

"Our list management strategy ... the next three to four years are pretty big for us. We are going to have no ceiling towards what we can achieve," he added.

Australian Associated Press