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New No.1? Hawks lock in ruckman for a further three years

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HAWTHORN has beaten Brisbane to Jonathon Ceglar's signature, re-signing the ruckman for three years in a move that hints he is primed to become the Hawks' No.1 big man.

The Lions were keen to add Ceglar to their ruck division, but he instead elected to remain at Waverley Park, where he's played 15 and 11 games respectively in the past two seasons.

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AFL.com.au reported last week that Ceglar and fellow ruckman Marc Pittonet were likely to stay at Hawthorn.

Ceglar has typically played behind Ben McEvoy, but he was the Hawks' lead ruckman in the last three rounds, when McEvoy was firstly absent then redeployed as a defender.

He turns 29 in February, and McEvoy will be 31 in July, while the Hawks also have 23-year-old Pittonet – who remains out of contract – and 20-year-old Ned Reeves in their ruck stocks.

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Ceglar averaged career-highs in disposals (13.3), marks (4.6) and clearances (2.5), to go with 20.3 hitouts (4.6 to advantage).

Hawthorn football boss Graham Wright was impressed with Ceglar's "really strong" finish to the season.

"Ruckmen are a precious commodity in our game, so we're really pleased to have 'Cegs' re-commit to the club for a further three seasons," Wright said.

 

"He's a valuable player for us who adds a wealth of versatility to our line-up.

"He's also a member of our emerging leaders group and sets a great example for his teammates both on and off the field."

Ceglar spent two years at Collingwood without playing a senior game before joining the Hawks in the 2012 rookie draft.

He sustained an ACL rupture in the penultimate round in 2016 and sat out the entire 2017 season.

However, Ceglar has returned well from that setback and has played 76 games in total in brown and gold.