Jonathon Ceglar is looking for a new club as Hawthorn’s rebuild gathers steam.
Ceglar is contracted until the end of 2022 – the last year of a three-year deal signed in 2019 - but has been asked to explore opportunities elsewhere.
The 30-year-old ruckman finished the season strongly, but now looks likely to make way as new Hawks coach Sam Mitchell hunts a stronger foothold in this year’s draft.
Hawthorn has picks 5, 21, 24, 56 and 62, yet has been bullish about its desire to replenish its stocks any way it can.
The Hawks also have an interest in opportunity-starved Collingwood big man Max Lynch, 23. Unlike Hawthorn, Collingwood is chasing later picks in the draft to absorb an early bid on father-on Nick Daicos.
Ceglar lost his place to emerging ruck Ned Reeves in the second half of the year and with skipper Ben McEvoy going as strong as ever, he’s the one poised to make way.
Yet the combative Ceglar also has currency. He monstered Sydney in the Hawks’ Round 13 win over the Swans at the SCG, collecting 20 disposals – 19 contested – and 11 clearances to go with 35 hitouts.
In his last five games of 2021 Ceglar averaged 17.6 disposals – 11 contested - 24 hitouts, 5.2 clearances and 2.2 contested marks per outing.
St Kilda, Western Bulldogs and Brisbane are in the market for a ruckman. It’s unclear whether Ceglar’s availability would appeal to the Lions, who have shown interest in former Blue Levi Casboult, contracted Cat Darcy Fort and out-of-contract Pie Mason Cox.
The Bulldogs have been sniffing around for ruck reinforcements given Tim English is still developing and playing forward, while Stef Martin was struck down by injury this year.
Martin, 34, desperately wants to go on and while he was yet to receive a new contract by late last week, there is an acceptance he will be given the chance to play at Whitten Oval again in 2022.
It also remains unclear what a Lynch departure to Hawthorn would mean for Cox, who is in limbo at Collingwood.
Cox fell out of favour last year under Nathan Buckley and his future remains up in the air under new coach Craig McRae, despite the pair’s good relationship.
Ceglar has played 101 games since being picked up by Hawthorn in the 2012 rookie draft.