Hawthorn boasts an impressive record in trade periods over the past two decades.
In fact our last three club captains have all been involved in trade action and may have never worn the brown and gold had it not been for some wise negotiations.
With trade season well and truly upon us, we thought there was no better time to reflect on Hawthorn’s five biggest wins at the trade table than now.
Rags to Mitches
A member of a stacked Sydney midfield that helped the Swans to a Grand Final berth in 2016, Tom Mitchell requested a trade in the week following his first experience of that last Saturday in September. Mitchell’s talents were already well-known, averaging 27.9 disposals throughout his 26 games in his final year at the Swans. But, having kicked a career-high 15 goals in 2016, the ball-getter had not been afforded the level of midfield time he would have liked. The Hawks were able to strike a deal with the Swans early in the trade period, exchanging Pick 14 and 52 in return for Mitchell and Pick 57. In his first two seasons in the brown and gold, the 25-year-old has won a Brownlow Medal, two All Australian selections, two Peter Crimmins Medals and 1,635 possessions!
Trading into premiership heroes
In 2004, then-Hawthorn recruiter Gary Buckenara identified an opportunity to turn the struggling club around on the back of holding three top-ten draft picks in Pick 2, 5 and 10. Having identified his favourite two talls of the draft, blokes named Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin, the final piece in Buckenara’s puzzle was Geelong Falcons midfielder Jordan Lewis, who he felt complemented the key forward pair perfectly. But Buckenara believed Lewis wouldn’t make it to the tenth pick, so he had to get to work. The Hawks struck a deal in a complicated four-team trade that, from Hawthorn’s end, saw them receive pick seven and Bo Nixon in exchange for pick 10 and 37. Nixon played just one game for Hawthorn, but the Hawks got a bit more value out of that pick seven, Jordan Lewis. Franklin, Roughead and Lewis combined for 55 senior games in their debut season to give a taste of what Hawthorn fans could expect from the trio in the years to come.
Smooth sailing for Silk
When Port Adelaide vice-captain Shaun Burgoyne opted to depart the Power and move to Hawthorn in 2009, it is fair to say the move had its doubters. Burgoyne, 28 at the time, had struggled with injury in recent years and some thought his playing days were numbered. But the Hawks maintained belief and secured the utility in a complex four-team trade, parted with pick nine and premiership goal kicker Mark Williams. As it happened, Port Adelaide took Andrew Moore, who played 55 games for the club, at pick nine. Williams went to Essendon, where he played just four games over two years. Meanwhile, Shaun Burgoyne has put together a scintillating career in the brown and gold, winning three premierships and becoming one of the club’s favourite sons.
Gibson gives ‘em hell
After four seasons with North Melbourne, Josh Gibson had signalled his intent to land at Hawthorn over the 2009 trade period. Motivated by the excitement of welcoming a ready-made key-position defender, the Hawks worked quickly and had Gibson’s signature by the end of the opening day of the trade period. The exchange saw Hawthorn send picks 25 and 41 to North for the 25-year old and pick 69. Gibson went on to play 160 games in the brown and gold, becoming a three-time premiership player, a two-time best and fairest winner in premiership years and an All Australian defender. Hawthorn were also able to turn the “steak knives” of the deal in pick 69 into dual premiership defender Taylor Duryea.
Hawks land superstars in superdraft
With the unprecedented build-up to the 2001 draft, clubs were under no illusions as to the quality on offer. Despite having reached a preliminary final in 2001, the Hawks decided to aggressively pursue the number one pick which was in the possession of Fremantle. Hawthorn and the Dockers ultimately struck a deal as the Hawks sent 21-year old and promising key position player Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin in order to claim three draft selections from Fremantle, pick one, 20 and 36. Pick one and 36 turned into Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell, while Daniel Elstone was drafted with pick 20. The foundation of a dominant era was built in one trade, with Hodge and Mitchell captaining four Hawks flags between them over the next 14 years. And, two years later, the Hawks managed to recover Croad from the Dockers, allowing him to also be an important member of the 2008 premiership team.