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Trade Throwback: The Jaeger deal

Trade Throwback - O'Meara Ahead of the 2019 trade period, we are taking a look back at the best trades in the Hawks recent history, starting off with Jaeger O'Meara back in 2016.

With the excitement of trade period in full swing, we’re looking back at some of the more exciting exchanges in recent Hawk history…

It’s 2016 and there’s only thirty minutes left of the official AFL Trade Period. 

Despite having flagged his interest to don the brown and gold, Jaeger O’Meara is yet to find his way to Hawthorn.

Finally the chips start to fall, as Carlton comes to the rescue with a last minute pick exchange. Hawthorn secures a future-second round selection, handing the Blues picks 48, 66 and 70.

Along with Pick 10, this gives the Hawks enough currency to get the job done: O’Meara is finally a Hawk.

But the scrutiny doesn’t stop there; the club is immediately hit with criticism, some saying it could turn out to be the “one of the worst deals of all time”, having given up a handful of draft picks in a last-ditch attempt. 

Despite an impressive start to his career that saw O’Meara win the 2013 Rising Star, a serious knee injury during a 2015 practice match had seen him miss two consecutive seasons. 

So, it’s fair to say, it was a risky move by Hawthorn, bringing in a player who had not seen the footy field in nearly two years.

But as always, Graham Wright, Alastair Clarkson and co stuck by their decision, confident that it was the right move. 

His first year at the Hawks in 2017, O’Meara only managed six games with his on-going knee concerns interrupting his football career for the third season in a row. 

The naysayers were vocal once again, with speculation that his continuing injuries would ultimately end his career.  

Finally, the critics were silenced when the midfielder came out in 2018. 21 games and his best season to date.   

Three years on from this epic trade, O’Meara has cemented himself as one of the top midfielders of the league. 

He averaged 25.8 disposals and 15.5 kicks for the 2019 season and polled 103 votes in the Peter Crimmins Medal count, placing him third overall. 

Having just signed a new contract to stay at the Hawks for another four years, we’re excited to see what else this star midfielder can put up in 2020 and beyond. 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs