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AFL 2017 Round 05 - Hawthorn v West Coast

Billy Hartung has been delisted by the Hawks

BILLY Hartung is on the hunt for a new AFL home after being delisted by Hawthorn on Thursday.

The 22-year-old was one of three Hawks axed, with forward Kade Stewart and wingman Dallas Willsmore also cut from Hawthorn's list.

Hartung played 63 games in his four seasons at Waverley, including 18 games this year when he averaged a career-high 22 possessions.

After Bradley Hill's exit to Fremantle in last year's trade period, Hartung shaped as an important player for the Hawks in 2017 with his speed and elite endurance.

However, it's understood the midfielder was informed at a meeting with Hawks officials on Thursday he would not be offered a new contract.

Check out all the retirements and delistings

Hartung appears likely to earn a second AFL chance at a club keen to bolster its outside run.

Clubs can take the former Dandenong Stingray in the delisted free agency period, which opens next Wednesday or in one of next month's drafts if he nominates.

Hartung was the No.24 pick in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft and received a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in 2015 after finishing with 26 possessions and one goal in the Hawks' round seven win over Melbourne.

Willsmore, who still had a year to run on his contract, will be handed a lifeline by Hawthorn with the club committed to re-drafting the 22-year-old in this year's rookie draft.  

"Dallas got a taste of AFL footy this year and showed some good signs," Hawthorn recruiting and list manger Graham Wright said.  

"We have committed to selecting him in the rookie draft next month."  

Stewart, who was recruited via the 2015 rookie draft, was cut after just seven senior games for Hawthorn.  

In the meantime, Hawthorn has re-signed former No.2 draft pick Jonathan O'Rourke and defender Kurt Heatherley on one-year deals.  

Since crossing over to Waverley Park from the Giants at the end of 2014, O'Rourke has managed just nine senior games.  

His 2017 season was plagued by a hamstring injury with the 23-year-old restricted to just six games for Box Hill in the VFL.  

"We are pleased to retain both Jonathan and Kurt," Wright said.  

"Jonathan had an injury interrupted season, so we trust with a full pre-season under his belt he'll be able to perform at his best next year.  

"Kurt had a solid year at VFL level and also managed four senior games. We hope he can continue to develop his craft as a key backman next season."  

New Zealand-born defender Heatherley has played five games for the brown and gold, four of those in 2017.