Michael Hartley landed at Hawthorn via the 2019 pre-season as the club looked to bolster its key defensive stocks. Having played 44 games with Essendon over a four-year span, Hartley had proven a comfortable customer at the elite level. His first chance to don the brown and gold at AFL level didn’t arrive though until the Round 13 clash with Port Adelaide in 2020. Playing in the loss to the Power, Hartley took on his former side the following week before, despite acquitting himself well, being left out of the senior for the remainder of the year. Long, accurate kicking and the ability to shut down key forwards are the features of Hartley’s game, with the 27-year-old averaging a club season-high of 7.5 rebound 50s per game albeit from two outings. With the retirement of key defender James Frawley, Hartley will be hoping to play a more prominent role in season 2021.
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