Crawford, Croad return to boost Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crawford, Croad return to boost Hawks

26/06/2008 02:13:47 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn will be strengthened by the return of key defender Trent Croad and midfielder Shane Crawford for Friday night's AFL clash with West Coast at the MCG.

A hip complaint has kept Croad on the sidelines for the past two weeks while Crawford has been out since round eight with knee tendonitis.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said the two inclusions would give his side extra on-field leadership and stability, while Croad's return was also very important to their defensive structure.

"He's a big brute and we've been playing (Stephen) Gilham and (Campbell) Brown on bigger opponents and Croady just gives you more flexibility where he can play - he can play on a tall or a small so he's pretty important to our back mix," Clarkson said.

"We haven't had him too often this year - he hurt his wrist in the first round of the season and then missed the next three or four games and he's missed the last two.

"So we'll be pretty pleased in the second half of the season if he can get through unscathed because he's a pretty important player to our back six."

Clarkson said Tim Clarke (corked quad) would be considered for the match against the Eagles but midfielder Chance Bateman (corked quad) and ruckman Simon Taylor (cut knee) would not return until after the split round.

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