Hawks set to snare Swan O'Keefe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks set to snare Swan O'Keefe

By Adam Cooper and Sam Lienert 06/10/2008 08:48:55 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn have moved swiftly to strengthen their AFL premiership side, securing pole position to claim Sydney forward Ryan O'Keefe.

The Hawks led the race after day one of trade week after rivals Carlton, Collingwood and Essendon all conceded they would struggle to recruit the 2005 premiership star, who wants to play for a Victorian club in 2009.

North Melbourne are also set to feature after coach Dean Laidley put his No.1 big man Hamish McIntosh on the table in a move likely to interest several clubs hunting for quality ruckmen.

The Kangaroos say they are yet to receive any bites for wantaway midfielder Daniel Harris, but Laidley said he would also consider offers for McIntosh, who was close to earning All-Australian honours in 2007 and suffered a knee injury this year.

"Hamish McIntosh's name was mentioned today," Laidley said unprompted.

"Even with Hamish, we'll sit down and if there's real interest in there and a club loves Hamish we'll have a look.

"But until we have a look and actually get some sort of offer somewhere, we can't really speculate."

Geelong onballer Brent Prismall is another looking for a new start after three seasons of limited chances.

No trades were completed today, but Carlton and Fremantle are in a stand-off over ruckman Robert Warnock, who wants to return to Victoria and play with the Blues.

Carlton formally offered pick No.24 in the national draft for Warnock, but the Dockers insist he warrants at least a first-round pick, which the Blues say is off limits.

The Swans still harbour some hope of re-signing O'Keefe, but are preparing to trade by ruling a first-round pick as minimum compensation.

Carlton and Collingwood both ruled out trading their first picks, while Essendon are leaning towards recruiting younger players.

Hawthorn's first draft pick is No.16, but they do have the bargaining power of surplus forward Tim Boyle and a clutch of talented youngsters who could not break into the side which beat Geelong in last month's grand final.

Hawthorn player personnel and strategy manager Chris Pelchen confirmed the Hawks were keen to trade for O'Keefe.

"We'll take that a step further now if we can. We'll talk to Ryan over the next 24 hours and see what we can ascertain from there," Pelchen said.

"We have serious interest, yeah."

Hawthorn also showed interest in Melbourne's Brad Green, but the Demons say the utility is close to signing a new contract.

Carlton's preference for a ruckman means they are unlikely to get both Warnock and O'Keefe.

"We've got interest with Ryan O'Keefe but the issue with Ryan is Sydney have asked for pick six and at this stage we're not giving that up, and 24 is in play with Warnock," Carlton football operations manager Steven Icke said.

Fremantle rejected Carlton's offer on Warnock, which was encouraging for Melbourne, who have first access to any uncontracted players in the pre-season draft.

That puts the pressure on Fremantle to get something for Warnock and Geelong the same for Prismall rather than have players walk to another club for nothing.

Prismall could not earn a place in Geelong's 2007 premiership side and suffered more heartache this year, when he suffered a serious knee injury in the qualifying final, which will sideline him for most of 2009.

Cats football operations manager Neil Balme confirmed Prismall, 22, wanted to pursue greater opportunities and could earn more at a rival club with salary-cap room.

"We're still a bit disappointed and pretty keen to keep him, but he's probably got all the cards at this stage," Balme said.

Most clubs are keen to retain picks given the quality of young talent available in next month's draft, which is also the last uncompromised selection pool this decade.

The Gold Coast franchise will be given draft concessions in 2009-10, and the Western Sydney team is expected to be granted the same in 2010-11.

The only player movement today was the Western Bulldogs committing pick No.14 to ruckman Ayce Cordy, the son of former Dogs player Brian, under the father-son rule.

The Bulldogs expect to trade onballer Farren Ray later this week, and Fremantle are also determined to get compensation for onballer Josh Carr, who wants to return to Port Adelaide.

Essendon and West Coast said there had only been preliminary interest in winger Andrew Lovett and ruckman Mark Seaby respectively.

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