Hawthorn added star Sydney midfielder Tom Mitchell and flagged Sam Mitchell’s shock departure on Wednesday as Alastair Clarkson continued to retool his side for another AFL premiership tilt.
Tom Mitchell joined the Hawks in return for pick No.14 and a swap of later picks hours after shock news of Sam Mitchell’s potential trade to West Coast emerged.
The bold moves follow Hawthorn’s free agent signing of Richmond key forward Ty Vickery on Monday.
If Mitchell’s West Coast move comes off, it could help the Hawks’ pursuit of Gold Coast star Jaeger O’Meara.
Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett said they had been talking to Mitchell about potentially joining them as a coach – but not until 2018 or beyond.
“Sam, obviously, long term for us, we think is going to be a terrific asset,” Nisbett told Perth radio station 6iX.
“If the Hawks want younger players, in sort of a mini-rebuilding phase, and we need some short-term intellect … and some long-term coaching, then we have different aims, so there’s some synergy there.
“So let’s hope it can all work out.”
Mitchell said his move west has been in the works since Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson suggested it in a private conversation a fortnight ago.
It would involve the four-time premiership star signing a one-year contract, with a view to him staying with West Coast as a coach once his glittering AFL playing career ends.
“He (Clarkson) is, in a sense, looking out for me,” Mitchell, currently on holidays in New Zealand, told Melbourne radio station SEN.
“We had a very open chat and he said, ‘look I know that you want to go into coaching, you’re not going play forever with Hawthorn … would it be something you’d be interested in, to go and play for a little bit and then going into coaching?’
“You could have knocked me over with a feather.”
On the face of it, Hawthorn appear the big winners out of the Tom Mitchell trade.
The hard-at-it midfielder impressed with his ball-winning ability in 65 games for the Swans after he was taken as a father-son pick (No.21) at the 2011 draft.
“He’s a high-quality person and, at only 23 years of age, has plenty of football ahead of him,” Hawks list manager Graham Wright said.
Collingwood lodged the only official paperwork on Wednesday, the Pies signing Fremantle forward Chris Mayne to a four-year deal as an unrestricted free agent.
The Dockers received a compensation pick (currently No.23) in the second round of next month’s draft from the AFL for the loss of Mayne.
In other player movement news on the third day of the AFL trade period:
* Brett Deledio’s move to Geelong hit a snag with Josh Caddy keen to remain with the Cats.
* Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff met with new coach Chris Fagan for the first time as both parties ponder his future.
* Geelong forward Shane Kersten appears headed home to Perth to play with Fremantle after nominating the Dockers.
* Bryce Gibbs’ move from the Blues to Adelaide remains at a stalemate, with the manager of Charlie Cameron and Mitch McGovern telling AFL Trade Radio they won’t move to Carlton.