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The '2017' year switch

Ben Collins  March 14, 2017 11:31 AM

The AFL players believe Jaeger O'Meara and Tom Mitchell are in for a big year in their new colours.

The AFL players believe Jaeger O'Meara and Tom Mitchell are in for a big year in their new colours.

As part of's fourth annual AFL Players' Top 50, players were asked to nominate which team-switcher would have the biggest impact this year.



Player Former club New club Votes
Sam Mitchell HAW WCE 17 per cent
Jaeger O'Meara GCFC HAW 14 per cent
Jordan Lewis HAW MELB 12 per cent
Pearce Hanley BL GCFC 10 per cent
Tom Mitchell SYD HAW 7 per cent
Dion Prestia GCFC RICH 7 per cent
Michael Hibberd ESS MELB 5 per cent


Following a controversial off-season featuring several high-profile trades, the players believe the elder Mitchell, now with West Coast, will provide the most immediate bang for buck.

The evergreen 34-year-old attracted 17 per cent of votes cast by his peers, followed by ex-Sun O'Meara (14 per cent) and new Demon Lewis (12 per cent), while former Swan Tom Mitchell (seven per cent) was equal-fifth.

Although the Hawks' greats are in the twilights of their spectacularly successful, four-flag careers, we shouldn't be surprised by this poll result given they are still strong performers, with ex-skipper Mitchell last year winning his fifth best and fairest and then vice-captain Lewis, 30, finishing runner-up. 

Former Sun Jaeger O'Meara shares a laugh with new Hawk teammate Shaun Burgoyne. Picture: AFL Photos

The merits of Hawthorn's ruthless list management decisions will be debated for years, but the early signs are that all parties are set for big years in new colours.

O'Meara's hot pre-season form indicates that the 23-year-old is finally over the knee issues that have sidelined him for the past two years, while Tom Mitchell, also 23, impressed in his first JLT Community Series outing against North Melbourne.

Highly skilled Irishman Pearce Hanley was fourth in the poll, with expectations high after his move from the Brisbane Lions to rival Gold Coast.