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Hawks swoop on mid that can 'step up quickly'

Ashley Browne  November 24, 2017 11:17 PM

AFL 2017 NAB Under 18s All Stars Match - Team Enright V Team Harvey

The Hawks say James Worpel 'might step up quite quickly'

DRAFT night has been a challenge for Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright and his team the last couple of years, as some aggressive work at the trade table has made them relatively late to the draft party. 

The Hawks' first pick on Friday night at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft came at pick No.45 and they were pleased to grab inside midfielder James Worpel from the Geelong Falcons.

Hard-running midfielder Dylan Moore came in at pick No.67 followed by versatile forward/midfielder Jackson Ross at pick No.71, bringing to a close two drafts where the Hawks have sat and waited to get into the action. 

"We ended up with three players we liked so, we’re happy, which I know (is) what everyone says," Wright said.

"They’ve got genuine talent and they all need time, although we think James might step up quite quickly." 

Two items of note for Hawks fans on Friday night were that Worpel comes to the club from the same TAC Cup club where the now-departed Luke Hodge played, while Moore comes from a family of diehard Hawthorn supporters. 

But more to the point, from this time on, the Hawks are serious draft players once again. They traded out of the last two first-rounds and more to obtain Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara, but as it stands, they have picks in the first three rounds of next year’s talent-laden draft. 

"People forget that two years ago we had two first-round picks and we took Ryan Burton and Kieran Lovell, and we were really happy with Harry Morrison and Mitchell Lewis last year," Wright said.

"But we’re more than happy next year and we’re rapt to be in that area, and while we don't know what will happen in the trade period, we’re really happy to have kept those picks.

"We might want to trade for a player, but with the potential for live trading of picks in the draft next year we thought it was important to maintain our position." 

The Hawks will have two live picks in Monday’s rookie draft. Midfielder Dallas Willsmore will be re-drafted, while Changkuoth Jiath will join the club as a Category B selection.

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