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Hawks had room to keep Mitchell and Lewis


Hawthorn could have kept Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis as well as adding new recruits Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell into its salary cap according to coach Alastair Clarkson.

The moves of Mitchell to West Coast, and Lewis to Melbourne, were two of the bombshells of last October’s trade period, with many believing their departure was necessary to fit in the contracts of the former Swan and former Sun.

However, Clarkson has told SEN Breakfast that the club could have retained the four-time premiership duo to mentor the new recruits, but the Hawks salary cap would have been tight.

“We would have been pretty tight but we would have been able to,” he said.

“We were hoping that the actual recruiting of Tom and Jaeger was along the lines of learning from (Luke) Hodge, Mitchell and Lewis for 12 months or two years.

“They (the deals) were all independent of one another.

“There’s no point trying to trick anyone that our salary cap would have been really tight had we squeezed them all in but we would have got there.

The four-time premiership coach said that moves were already afoot to restructure the existing contracts of some players in order to facilitate the looming new additions.

“We had already gone to several of our players, we would have had to have done some manipulating of contracts, not in an illegal way (but) go to some of the players and say can you not take so much this year and take it later on?

“That process had already begun whether Sam and Jordan were at the club or not.”

Hawthorn Garry, Tim & Hamish Alastair Clarkson Jordan LEWIS Sam MITCHELL Jaeger O'MEARA Tom MITCHELL

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