Hawk defenders keen to impress - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawk defenders keen to impress

By Adam Cooper 22/06/2009 05:49:03 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn defenders Stephen Gilham and Rick Ladson will on Tuesday aim to prove they are ready to win AFL recalls and give the Hawks the best defence of their campaign.

Gilham and Ladson have been cast as spectators for the Hawks' shaky start to their premiership defence, as Gilham has played only one game this campaign (round three) and Ladson none, which leaves the flanker perched on 99 career games.

But both have overcome their knee injuries and provided they get through Tuesday's training session, should be declared fit to play West Coast at Subiaco Oval on Saturday night, a game Hawthorn must win to get back into the eight.

The pair played in the VFL on June 8 and shone, sat out football the following weekend when the Box Hill Hawks had the bye, and again sat out of the VFL on the weekend, so they could train unrestricted on Tuesday.

"If they're to play this weekend in Perth they need to train at full intensity tomorrow," Hawthorn football general manager Mark Evans said on Monday.

"If they'd played in the VFL (Sunday) and they'd copped knocks it would mean they couldn't train at their best, so that's why we held them back.

"If they get through okay it puts them in the selection mix for selection this weekend."

The duo's presence would give Hawthorn a more familiar backline, and give the Hawks five of their first-choice back six.

"That's the first part of it, the second is to get them back to full fitness and get them working as a team again," Evans said.

If Gilham and Ladson return, it will leave key defender Trent Croad as the only member of the Hawks' backline from last year's grand final not playing.

Croad is yet to resume full training after the foot problems which he first suffered in the season decider against Geelong.

Evans said Croad had encouraged the Hawks in his return to skills training, but was still a couple of weeks off full training.

Winger Clinton Young and midfielder Cyril Rioli are still a fortnight away from returning from hamstring injuries.

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