Smith fails to train before AFL final

The selection intrigue surrounding Hawthorn speedster Isaac Smith continues to grow ahead of the AFL qualifying final against West Coast.

Smith failed to train with his teammates as the Hawks had a run on Thursday at Domain Stadium.

The bulk of the team had flown into Perth a couple of hours earlier.

Smith was in an advance party of six players to fly across on Wednesday.

He strained ligaments in his left knee during last Saturday night’s win over Carlton.

The Hawks will most likely name him in their team, to be released later on Thursday, and leave it until Friday to make the final call.

“He ran yesterday and he pulled up pretty well, so we’ll see how he pulls up tomorrow,” Hawks assistant coach Adem Yze said before training.

“I’m not sure what he’ll do today – he’ll do a little bit.

“Hopefully, it all goes well tomorrow, so we’ll make a call on that tomorrow morning … he’s an important player for us.

“The test is going to be more tomorrow, to see how he pulls up from today and whatever he does tomorrow morning.

“We’ll leave that until the last minute.”

Yze and senior coach Alastair Clarkson separately said on Thursday that the Hawks would not risk Smith in Friday night’s match.

“If you knew what the result was going to be, the decision would make itself,” Yze said.

“We have to take fit players into a final … if he’s not 100 per cent fit, he won’t play.”

Billy Hartung, the most-likely replacement if Smith is ruled out, trained at Domain Stadium.

“He’s been terrific for us … he has a massive tank, he has good skills – he’ll be in the mix,” Yze said.

Hartung was left out of Hawthorn’s AFL side last weekend.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!