Main content

'Shocked, shattered' Burton didn't consider Hawks stay

Pre-season slog heats up across Australia A Footy Feed update with Matt Thompson
Once you get put up on the trade block, you don't really feel comfortable going back unless you're 100 per cent wanted
Ryan Burton

PORT Adelaide recruit Ryan Burton was shocked and shattered when first told Hawthorn wanted to trade him as part of the Chad Wingard deal.

However, he said he never considered digging in his heels to see out the remaining two years of his contract at the Hawks.

Burton joined the Power on the first day of pre-season training at Alberton Oval on Monday, having done a little work with the club's first-to-fourth year players in the previous two weeks.

The 21-year-old was on holidays in the US when he got a call from his manager telling him the Hawks had put him up as a bargaining chip in their quest to secure Wingard from the Power.

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

"When your name gets thrown up for a trade it's never a nice thing to feel," Burton told reporters on Monday.

"I was just a bit shocked, and a bit shattered that the club was sort of trying to get a deal done, but the fact it was getting to come home to a club that I grew up loving just made it a lot better."

Burton spoke to Power coach Ken Hinkley before making his decision and received text messages from senior players once the move became official.

He also chatted with Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson.

PROS AND CONS Our verdict on your club's fixture

"I won't get into details about what he said, but we basically spoke about my playing future and that Port Adelaide was going to be a good fit," Burton said.

"That basically is what helped make my decision.

"I think he's been chasing Chad for a while and the two just met up.

"The fact I'm an Adelaide boy keen to come home just made it easier for them."

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

Burton was contracted to the Hawks until 2020, finished runner-up in the NAB AFL Rising Star award last year and played 47 games for the club.

He said he wasn't going to force the Hawks to honour his contract once they showed their hand.

"Being contracted, of course I had a choice, but once you get put up on the trade block, you don't really feel comfortable going back unless you're 100 per cent wanted," Burton said.

MUST-WATCH GAMES The 22 you won't want to miss

"Port was on the other end and it was a club that was always in the back of my mind to maybe go to down the track.

"It was a club that I grew up loving, so it made the situation easier."

Burton grew up as a Power supporter and spent some time training with the club before he was selected by the Hawks with the No.19 pick in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.

He has played across half-back at the Hawks, but with the Power well served in defence, he could find himself up forward, where he played his junior football, or in the midfield.

"I'm happy to play wherever I need to," Burton said.

"I'd love to push into the midfield in the next few years, but if I'm required as a half-back or whatever, I'm happy to fulfill that role."