AFTER the completion of the 2012 AFL season the league will be revolutionised by the introduction of free agency.
For eligible players this will give them the ability to leave their current club, bypassing the draft and trade periods, and essentially pick their next employer themselves. For the AFL, this will be an unprecedented change.
In the lead up to the introduction of free agency Football Nation is running a series of articles by guest writer Sam Mills that will focus on what free agency will do to your club at the end of the season.
The 30-year old Bateman looks set to retire. He has only played two games so far this season and the unrestricted free agent has been riddled with injury over the past two seasons.
Hodge has some injury concerns of his own. Like Bateman, he has only played 2 games so far this season due to a knee injury, but has time on his side at only 28 years of age. The Hawthorn captain will remain at the club. It’s mighty hard to see him leaving, especially with the Hawks in the premiership window.
The fomer captain has notched up his 200 games and with no real injury problems at the age of 29, the Hawks will be looking to re-sign him. He may appeal to other clubs, but Mitchell is one of those players that will stick with a club through thick and thin. He’ll stay with the Hawks for a few years yet.
The Hawks number 29 has not played a game this year and should be looking to move on. He is an unrestricted free agent and Murphy, who actually captained the Hawks against Gold Coast in Round 24 last season, should be picked up by an up and coming side. He is only 26 and still has some good footy in him, however Hawthorn’s young brigade have stepped up and overtaken him in the line for the first 22.
Osborne, who only just ruptured his ACL in Round 6, will be looking to play on. The 29-year old has played 163 games in his career at Hawthorn and is now an unrestricted free agent, however it’s unlikely any other side would want him. Still has some good footy in him to come for the Hawks.
Hawthorn will be looking to retain Sewell, who starred in their 2008 premiership win. His is 28 years of age and has played 156 games. He is a restricted free agent, has great loyalty and is unlikely to demand a bag of money despite being a key player, which will help the Hawks. Should stay at the club.
After injury troubles in the past few years, Young has now regained his spot in Alistair Clarkson’s best 22 and will be looking to stay with the club. He had previously only played 96 games over seven seasons, including ten last year, but has played seven games already this season. Being 26 years old and in the prime of his career, other clubs may look at him, but he’ll stay true to the brown and gold.
Only one real worry for the Hawks and that’s Thomas Murphy, although he isn’t even in their best side. Another thing that will keep players at the club is the chance to play in another premiership. They are a tight bunch down at Hawthorn and the loyalty to their teammates will continue for a long time yet.
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