With the grand final just past, Hawthorn won a back-to-back premiership, becoming the first team to do so since Michael Voss' Lions. The Lions went for a 3-peat and won the premierships each year between 2001 and 2003, becoming only the fourth team to ever do so.
What do the Hawthorn Hawks need to do take on such a feat? What additions need to be made for the team to join this illustrious Lions, or go even one better and win four in a row and join Collingwood from 1927 to 1930? A big addition would be needed to freshen up their backline.
Josh Gibson has a maximum of three years left while Brian Lake is lucky to get another one. This is where James Frawley comes in, he's an all Australian defender in the prime of his career, and with Buddy's monster contract now gone, an asking price of 500 thousand would suit Hawthorn perfectly in terms of their salary cap.
Frawley's play style would perfectly compliment to his would-be teammate, Hawthorn young-gun Brendan Whitecross, who was out this year due to injury. Pairing two young players in a club that already contain this talent means not only can the players grow together and improve their chemistry and skill, but they can achieve this whilst being surrounded by already established players that have just succeeded in taking their club all the way to the top.
The other option is to take Jake Carlisle from Essendon, as the 23 year old would perfectly fit into Hawthorn's defensive play style. Carlisle's reading of the ball is second to none, and is his main strength. If found guilty during the recent ASADA scandal, Essendon will have breached terms in Carlisle's contract in regards to the duty of care required by the club, meaning that he can choose to opt out and leave Essendon with not only a huge hole in the team, but also at a financial detriment and a loss. This assumption means that Essendon would accept a trade for a second round pick, which is a situation that Hawthorn absolutely has to capitalise on.
Other player acquisitions would be well used to improve the overall speed of the team. Hawthorn's current roster only includes speedsters Stephen Hill and Isaac Smith. These two players aren't enough to balance the slower, older players on the team, such as Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell. More needs to be done to increase the overall pace of the team. Bringing in new and fresh players, such as free agents Jeff Garlett and Leroy Jetta, who would fit the bill as substitute or reserve players. Although Hawthorn's current lack of speed hasn't been a handicap, as time goes on, players only get slower and less agile, meaning that the long-term goals of Hawthorn aren't compatible with the current build of the team.
With Port Adelaide getting one year older and more experienced, this is the ideal time for Hawthorn to inject some quality pace. The ruck is solid for Hawthorn and the forward line is as bright and fluid as ever, but if this Hawks side wants to be up there with the Collingwood of the 1920s or Brisbane during the early 2000s, they will need some improvement - especially with teams such as Port Adelaide and North Melbourne coming into their prime.
It will take something special on and off the field to make this 3-peat happen and no doubt Hawthorn can pull it off with the right additions.
Annemarie de Villiers is studying sports science and has a dream to be a sports scientist for a professional club. Born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand and tertiary professionally qualified in Melbourne Australia.
Annmarie de Villiers' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/annemarie-de-villiers.html