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Coach expects Hawks to be hungry again

By Adam Cooper 30/09/2008 05:54:45 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson expects the AFL premier's focus to shift on to 2009 quickly, and has tipped his players to be hungry for more success, not a hangover.

Although some players looked wobbly and weary on their fourth day of celebrating the grand-final win over Geelong, Clarkson will return his attention to planning on Thursday.

"We're celebrating a tremendous effort by our playing group and club this year, but we need to move on to 2009 promptly," he said.

But he was more evasive on the future of big man Simon Taylor, as he declined the chance to give the ruckman overlooked for the grand final a guarantee he would be at Hawthorn next year.

Clarkson will join recruiters in Canberra on Thursday, to assess potential recruits at draft camp and will next week turn his attention to the exchange period, although he does not expect Hawthorn to be big players in trade week.

But he did not expect to have to warn his young stars to look after themselves during the coming break.

"They're a pretty keen group to try to continue to make inroads into this competition," Clarkson said.

"They're a pretty resilient, young group and I'd expect they'd be hungry again to try to...

"It's so hard, as we saw with Geelong this year, to go back to back, so our goal once again will be to try to finish as high up the ladder as we can ... there's no tried and true formula, it's just hard work and our guys will need to prepare well over the summer."

Taylor looms as a potential trade next week given he had partnered Robert Campbell for most of the season, but was overlooked for Brent Renouf during the final series.

The Hawks are also well-served for young ruckmen, as Max Bailey and Luke McEntee are both 21, while teenager Timothy Walsh is on the club's rookie list.

Forward Tim Boyle and midfielder Tim Clarke, who played only six and eight games respectively this season, are others who could be offloaded next week.

Clarkson avoided answering the direct question when asked if Taylor and defender Tom Murphy, another overlooked for the season decider, would be retained.

"It's difficult, you can't fit 28 guys into 22 spots," Clarkson said.

"Big Squizzy and Murph were probably the two stiffest players, but unfortunately there's hard-luck stories wherever you look in grand final week.

"The guys like Danny Jacobs, Richie Vandenberg, Ben Dixon and Joel Smith couldn't salute at the end of this year either because they'd retired earlier in the season or at the end of last year.

"They're unfortunate victims of this whole process too, but it's the reason we perhaps saluted because we've got an attitude that clubs win premierships, not individuals."

Clarkson did not expect Hawthorn to be a big player in trade week, but said the Hawks would consider all offers.

He said it was too early to speculate on whether Sydney's Ryan O'Keefe would be returning home to Melbourne, as reported, as he still considered the forward a Swans player.

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