The season has not exactly gone according to plan for Chad Wingard with injury restricting the new Hawk to only nine games thus far in 2019.
Chad Wingard: don’t call it a comeback
While the former Power star has not performed to his brilliant best yet, there was plenty to like about his game against the Cats last Sunday.
The 25 year-old gathered 21 disposals, his highest disposal tally in Hawthorn colours. Wingard was an important contributor in the 24 point victory with seven score involvements, five clearances and four tackles.
How good was Chad yesterday? 😍
The man was born for crunch games at the ‘G. 👊 pic.twitter.com/E2JyxpLLxn
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 22, 2019
How quickly we forget
Adjusting to a new club takes time and it didn’t take long for some in the media to put the blowtorch on Chad Wingard.
The comments from Matthew Lloyd after the South Australian had only played his fifth game for Hawthorn after a five point loss to Melbourne was particularly scathing.
“There’s more sizzle than sausage with this man. The sizzle looks good but deep down at the end of the day he doesn’t do a lot. That’s the thing about Chad Wingard.”
Despite the slow start and some inconsistent form that goes back further than this season, the overall statistics confirm what a talent Wingard is.
Players who “do not do a lot” don’t have a CV that includes a club Best & Fairest and 2x All-Australian selections. They also don’t play over 150 games averaging 18.1 disposals and 1.5 goals a game.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson has always maintained people needed to have some patience before judging the acquisition of the Port utility.
“It’s five minutes old, come back to us in about 2027 and let us know how it’s all gone then. So many people want it to be that one club wins and the other loses. But so often when it’s a good trade, both clubs get benefit.”
Port Adelaide is delighted with the trade. Despite his own injury issues Ryan Burton has performed solidly and Xavier Duursma, who was also acquired as a result of the Wingard exit, has earned a rising star nomination while averaging 19.2 disposals from 16 games.
Alastair Clarkson is very good judge and could well be on the money that both clubs end up benefiting. The trade certainly looks in favour of Port right now but there is a long way to go.
Last week was an important step forward and the next five weeks gives Chad Wingard the opportunity to remind the football public and those who have short memories what a quality footballer he is.