Days after confirming the shock AFL trade of Sam Mitchell to West Coast, Hawthorn have agreed to deal fellow four-time premiership star Jordan Lewis to Melbourne.
A 2014 All-Australian midfielder, 30-year-old Lewis on Tuesday joined the Demons on a three-year deal after playing 264 games for the Hawks.
Hawthorn initially declared Lewis a required player but eventually agreed to the trade, which will help them clear up space in their salary cap to accommodate trade target Jaeger O’Meara, as well as new recruits Tom Mitchell and Ty Vickery.
Much like the Mitchell trade for West Coast, the deal is a bargain for the Demons, gaining Lewis and the Hawks’ picks 57 and 68 in exchange for picks 48 and 66.
Lewis said his decision to seek a trade to Melbourne came after a “really honest” chat with coach Alistair Clarkson about his future.
“We spoke about what my future could look like beyond my current contract and following that catch-up I sat down and looked at my options,” he said.
“I looked at every club in the competition and after going through every list, Melbourne was the one that stood out – if I wasn’t going to be at Hawthorn. It was clear to me that I wanted to play for the Melbourne football club.
“”I believe in what the club is building. There is some outstanding young talent at the club and that is an area I can certainly play a role in – mentoring and developing those players both in an on-field and off-field sense.”
Lewis said the decision was solidified after meeting with new Demons coach Simon Goodwin and list manager Todd Viney, a former assistant coach at Hawthorn.
The Hawks will now line up next year without their reigning best and fairest and runner-up in Mitchell and Lewis respectively.
Their departure paves the way for Hawthorn to build up a war chest for the 2017 trade period, when Fremantle star Nat Fyfe and Richmond’s Dustin Martin will become restricted free agents.
“It is disappointing to lose Jordan, however we felt it was the right decision for all parties to facilitate his request for a trade to Melbourne,” Hawks list manager Graham Wright said.
“Jordan was obviously contracted till the end of next year, but a move to the Demons secures his future for a further three years and we understand he needs to do what is best for him and his family.
“With Jordan and Sam moving on it opens up opportunities for our young midfielders to step up and further their development.”