K rock Football

Hawks ahead of the game

, Victoria – on Saturday-July- 31
2021. -(Photograph by Marcel Berens).

INVERLEIGH coach Adam Donohue looks set for a stress-free pre-season with the Hawks re-signing its entire list of 2021 contracted players.

Donohue, who signed a two-year contract extension that ties him to the club until the end of 2023 in June, revealed the final signatures went to paper earlier this month, including from multiple best-and-fairest winner Dalton Grundell.

“We signed nearly everyone before the latest lockdown. Then we had four to go making their decisions, and they were pretty quick to get back to us with a pretty emphatic “yes”,” Donohue said.

“We don’t have to change too much, and you can plan a bit easier.

“I don’t think it’s happened in my time in footy where you don’t lose one player.”

Donohue, who won the GDFL goalkicking award with 54 majors for the season, admits he thought there would be some turnover.

“I wasn’t sure whether a couple of them might have tried their hand at GFL level or not,” he said. “Or a couple might have walked away given the couple of years that we’ve had.

“But, when you don’t lose a game, there’s a lot of guys there burning for a premiership.

“And at the end of the day, nobody really wanted to walk away from that.”

Inverleigh played at 37 points in its win over Thomson in what proved to be the season’s final round.

Donohue, Ryan Robertson, Kad McEwan-Walsh, Matt Tyquin and Scott Condy are among those whose value will decrease in 2022.

That opens the door for the Hawks to strengthen their list, and Donohue says their defensive depth is one area they will look at.

“Jake Crawley’s played at full back and Jack Fiolet’s at centre half-back,” Donohue said.

“Jack can play on anyone – I think he’s the best defender in the GDFL … he rarely gets beaten.

“If we can find a key back, it will probably help release Jack a little bit.

“Everything else we’re pretty happy with, but the key back is the one thing that we’re targeting.”

Donohue says Inverleigh will commence pre-season training in late November and complete a 4-5 week block before Christmas.

Twitter: @tom_king79