The season has not even started yet, but you get that feeling Hawthorn have done it again. The low-cost acquisition of Jonathon Patton may just prove to be one of the steals of last year’s trade period.
Restricted by injury, the 26-year-old missed the entire 2019 season after suffering his third ACL injury. Round 15, 2018 the last time Patton took the field at AFL level.
Recent injury history would have been a consideration for any club looking to trade in the forward, but the cost of a future fourth round pick makes it a low risk deal.
Not surprisingly at this time of year most AFL clubs declare everyone is training the house down. Last week assistant coach Sam Mitchell said as much when providing an update on the recruit for the Hawthorn website.
“He’s trained really strongly, his last couple of weeks have been really good, we’ve started to really see some good things. He’ll certainly spend some time on the field in the (pre-season) series.”
Drafted with pick one in the 2011 draft, Jonathon Patton spent eight years at GWS and departed after 89 games and a return of 130 goals.
When fit and firing the 26-year-old is a handful for defenders. Statistically 2017 the forward’s most productive goal kicking year with 45 majors.
A return Hawthorn would be more than happy to see replicated in 2020.
Despite wanting a fresh start at another club, the Victorian built many great relationships at the Giants and had nothing but positive things to say in a classy goodbye at last years’ Best & Fairest.
Filling a void
A slight concern for Hawthorn is they were ranked 11th in the league for total goals in 2019. Only scoring over 100 points in the final two rounds of the season.
Luke Bruest was the leading goal kicker for the year with 34 goals. The lowest tally at Hawthorn since Daniel Chick in 2002 (31 goals).
This would suggest that the forward line needs some attention but it may not take much tinkering to improve scoring efficiency.
Last year we witnessed the development of Mitchell Lewis who certainly looks like he has a positive future at AFL level.
The addition of Sam Frost should also give Alastair Clarkson the luxury of Jack Gunston spending more time forward.
Forward-line flexibility is vital for any AFL club. The bargain deal for Jonathon Patton who can take a grab and kick a goal might just be another trade masterpiece from the Hawks.