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Lake to help Hawks shore up defence


Michael Gleeson

Switching clubs: Brian Lake (right) is a Hawk.

Switching clubs: Brian Lake (right) is a Hawk. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

AFTER two years of stoutly defending Ryan Schoenmakers and its troublesome defence, Hawthorn has moved to shore up its back line by recruiting Brian Lake.

Hawthorn yesterday secured the two-time All-Australian full-back from the Western Bulldogs for the Hawks' first two picks in the national draft - selections 21 and 41.

The Hawks will get Lake and the Bulldogs' second-round pick (No. 27) as part of the deal.


Effectively, Hawthorn gets Lake for pick 41 while sliding six places in the draft, which may not seem to be extravagant compensation to the Bulldogs for a player of Lake's ability.

But he is 30 and would be a free agent at the end of next season, when the Bulldogs could have lost him for minimal compensation.

It's understood that given Lake will be walking out on the final year of a lucrative contract at the Bulldogs, he could be sacrificing as much as $200,000 to switch to the Hawks.

Even still, the Hawks' salary cap will be tight — but Chance Bateman and Cameron Bruce have retired, meaning their money comes out of the cap. They also have Stephen Gilham out of contract, so it seems unlikely that the tall defender would now be offered a deal with Lake coming.

Clinton Young is a unrestricted free agent who is yet to decide whether to remain at the Hawks, where he has been offered a new contract, albeit on what are believed to be slightly reduced terms. It is understood he toured the Westpac Centre with Collingwood officials last night.

Hawk Tom Murphy is also out of contract.

The Hawks had some interest in recruiting free agent Jared Rivers, but the Lake deal has overtaken that.

The Western Bulldogs have made their plans to rebuild very clear by moving on the veteran in exchange for the hope and promise of teenagers. As it stands, the Bulldogs will have three first-round picks in the national draft - five, six and 21.

The Bulldogs had explored an option of trading their first two draft picks as part of a deal with Greater Western Sydney for a 17-year-old in the mini-draft, but that deal foundered when GWS would not also return them a draft pick inside the top 10.

''The accumulation of six picks inside 50 presents the opportunity the likes of which this club has not seen before to recruit the core list around which we will build the future of this football club,'' Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said.

The Dogs remain interested in Collingwood forward Chris Dawes, having met the forward in recent days to present their case for a move to Whitten Oval.

Dawes, who is contracted to the Magpies for two more years, has yet to decide whether he wants to move. He is understood to be considering offers from three clubs - the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and Carlton. When and if Dawes nominates a club, it would be up to Collingwood to negotiate a suitable trade. He is still a chance to remain at Collingwood.

Lake's move after 197 games at the Dogs adds depth and versatility to the Hawks.

''Brian is a fantastic addition to our list, and will complement our defensive unit extremely well,'' Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said.

130 comments so far

  • Lake will be 31 next season, Hawks getting desperate as they now realise what everybody else already knew - their defense leaks like a sieve. One year max from Lake if they're lucky.

    Johnny the Boy
    Date and time
    October 08, 2012, 4:46PM
    • With Hawthorn's premiership window well and truly open a year may be all they need out of him. If he can get on the park consistently (which he did this year) Lake will be a quality addition.

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:07PM
    • Yes, our defence was below par and maybe a 'Stewie Dew' moment will return.

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:13PM
    • the 3rd lowest points against is hardly a leaking defense @ Johnny the Boy

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:15PM
    • Leaks like a sieve? Really? This is the same team that finished the year 3rd (after Syndey and Fremantle) for points against.

      Johnny don't know tish
      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:28PM
    • Johnny, your a genius! I am sure that the hawks have only just found out after the fact that Lake is 31 next year. He has only one to two years left, that is the whole point. He wouldn't be super expensive, but a great addition during hawthorn premiership window, and his presence will give Shoenmakers, Stratten etc... more time to develop. But you already knew that

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:34PM
    • Will make the difference between a flag and no flag. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it johnny boy!

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:38PM
    • Ever heard of a premiership window? They could recruit an 18 year old kid, but he wouldn't be much use in the next couple of years. Not a bad trade given they get pick 27 too.

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 5:40PM
    • Spot on Johnny Boy the Hawks defence is full of holes but I'm sure a Lake will not stem the flow.

      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 6:07PM
    • yeah Johnny boy...a team whose defence leaks like a sieve, yet won the minor premiership and was runner up.....16 other clubs would love to have our defence!! How did you're team fare?? obviously didn't make the grand final!!

      Bass Coast
      Date and time
      October 08, 2012, 6:42PM

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