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Clarko clears up trade talk

hawthornfc.com.au  March 14, 2017 12:34 PM

AFL 2016 Media - NAB AFL Draft

Alastair Clarkson says we are yet to see the best of O'Meara and Mitchell.

Hawthorn Senior Coach Alastair Clarkson has high hopes for boom recruits Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell.

“We haven’t seen the best of them yet,” Clarkson told SEN radio on Tuesday morning.

“It’s going to take them some time to learn the way that we play, and it’s going to take us some time to learn what their strengths are and what they can bring to our side too.”

“We hold them in high regard, and hope that they can have long careers at our footy club.”

O’Meara and Mitchell joined the club in late 2016, during a busy trade period for the Hawks.

According to Clarkson, the young duo has been on the Hawks’ radar since they arrived in the AFL system.

“They’re 23 years of age, they’ve played a fair bit of footy and they were highly rated as youngsters.

“We never had access to them in terms of the draft, so when there was [word] that there might be a chance for those two boys to move clubs, we wanted to get ourselves right to the front of the queue.”

Read: Match report JLT3

Contrary to popular belief, Clarkson says the arrival of Mitchell and O’Meara was not the reason behind the departure of two premiership stars in Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.

"They (the deals) were all independent of one another.

"There's no point trying to trick anyone that our salary cap would have been really tight had we squeezed them all in, but we would have got there.

"We were hoping that the actual recruiting of Tom and Jaeger was along the lines of learning from [Luke] Hodge, Mitchell and Lewis for 12 months or two years.

"That process had already begun whether Sam and Jordan were at the club or not."

"We couldn't guarantee either of those players a significant tenure beyond 2017 and there was some significant opportunities out there for both of those boys and they wanted to explore them.

"When they weighed everything up, they had the choice of if they wanted to stay at the Hawthorn footy club and play for a minimum of 12 months at our club, but it might have been a maximum for 12 months at our club, too.

“Once they sat down with their managers, families, close friends and in some cases their teammates, they [decided] the best thing in terms of their security and tenure in the game was to take up opportunities elsewhere.”

Read: Which new club players will have the biggest impact in 2017?