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Big man Hale re-signs with Hawthorn

Mark Macgugan  April 22, 2013 1:28 PM

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David Hale has signed a new one-year deal

RUCKMAN David Hale has signed a new one-year contract with Hawthorn, tying him to the club until the end of season 2014.

Speaking at Waverley Park on Monday after the announcement of the new deal, the 28-year-old said he was happy to secure a fourth season in brown and gold, after crossing from North Melbourne ahead of the 2011 season.

"I'm getting a little bit older, so it was good to tie in another year," Hale said.

"Hopefully I can keep playing good footy and have some success here in the coming years."

After playing as the Hawks' No.1 ruckman for the bulk of last season, Hale has had a role change this year with Max Bailey's inclusion in the team.

The former Kangaroo has continued to rotate into the ruck, but has spent more time up forward, a structure he said had worked well so far.

"Max has been good; he's played the first four games and has been doing pretty well," Hale said.

"So 'Roughy' (Jarryd Roughead) and I are spending a bit more time down forward, which has helped as well, to have those tall targets down there.

"We've been kicking pretty big scores for the past few weeks, so it's been a good mix."

The dampener for Hawthorn from Saturday's 43-point victory over Fremantle was the anterior cruciate ligament rupture suffered by key defender Ryan Schoenmakers.

The emerging tall will need a knee reconstruction, ending his season.

But the Hawks have a ready-made replacement in recruit Brian Lake, who appears certain to play his first game of the year.

"He (Lake) has had a few games in the VFL and he's been playing well, so I imagine he would come in and fill that role," Hale said.

"But it's unlucky for 'Schoey' at such a young age to have to have a knee reco."

Hale will come up against his old team this Sunday as Hawthorn attempts to continue its recent hold over North Melbourne, which included 13 goals to Lance Franklin in a 115-point thrashing when the teams last met.

Although unlikely to display the same emotion as Brendon Goddard in his first game against St Kilda last Saturday night, Hale said the desire to perform against his ex-teammates was still there after three years away.

"You want to do well and perform well against your old mates," he said.

"I spent a long time there, so I've got some good memories, but I've been at the Hawks for a few years now so it would be good to knock them off again."

And a point of curiosity around the Hawthorn ruckman this season has been his new hairstyle – or lack thereof.

"I probably just didn't really bother about my looks any more, to be honest," he said.

"I've got two kids now and it was something cosmetic that didn't matter to me any more.

"I'm a bit lighter on top, which could be a bit cooler in the winter months."

Hale's signature follows those of Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge, Luke Breust and Ben Stratton, who have all re-committed to Hawthorn in recent weeks.