If Bradley Hill is any guide, wantaway AFL players could come clean with their thoughts in order to reach top form.
Hill’s interest in returning to home state Western Australia and joining Fremantle became public last week.
He met Dockers coach Ross Lyon in between Hawthorn’s wins against Sydney and Richmond – with the Hawks blessing – as he works out his future.
The meeting has coincided with Hill’s best two matches of the season.
He was instrumental in Hawthorn’s sharp ball movement against the Swans on Sunday against Richmond, he again featured in the best.
The 23-year-old had 31 disposals and fired Hawthorn inside 50 seven times as the Hawks eased to a 70-point trouncing of the Tigers.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson has been here before, dealing with Matthew Suckling in 2015 and Lance Franklin in 2013, who both chose to leave the club after premiership-winning seasons.
Clarkson said he understood how the decision could burden a player.
“He had a patch of two or three weeks when it wasn’t out in the open and he probably didn’t perform so well,” he said.
“It was the same with Suckers last year so sometimes it can be a weight on their shoulders.
“A lot of of these players feel uptight (and think) ‘what’s the coach going to think? … my captain? my team-mates? our supporters?’
“Sometimes the best thing is transparency and to bringing it right back out into the open.”
Clarkson said the meeting with Lyon was “part of the information gathering” process for Hill, who is yet to make a decision to stay or go.
“I don’t reckon he’s going to (decide) until the end of the year,” he said.
“We’re hopeful he won’t (go). He’s got a really strong group of mates here.
“Who’s to say he’s going to go back there and play better footy or be in a side that have got the opportunities that Hawthorn have got.
“We had the same situation with Suckling last year, the same with Franklin two or three years ago.
“We’re hopeful we’ll get a better result … we’ll have a win somewhere along the line and hopefully it’s Hilly.”