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Xavier Ellis to sign with West Coast

Xavier Ellis was one of Hawthorn's best players in their 2008 premiership victory.

Xavier Ellis was one of Hawthorn's best players in their 2008 premiership victory. Photo: Paul Rovere

Hawthorn's 2008 premiership player Xavier Ellis will join West Coast as a free-agent signing, in a deal set to be finalised on Wednesday.

Ellis, 25, a high draft pick whose eight years at Hawthorn were marred by injury, is expected to sign with the Eagles, where he will be coached again by Adam Simpson, the new West Coast coach who has been instrumental in recruiting Ellis to West Coast.

Fremantle had also shown some interest in Ellis, who is expected to be signed on a modest contract that will not see the Hawks gain much, if any, meaningful compensation.

Ellis was a highly promising youngster with the Hawks and was among the best players in the club's 2008 grand final win, when he was just 20 and appeared set for a productive future at Waverley Park.

But injuries have conspired against the left-footer, who was selected at No.3 in the 2005 national draft. With his departure from Hawthorn, that will make seven of the top 10 picks from that draft that are no longer with their original AFL clubs. Dale Thomas (2), Josh Kennedy (4) and Mitch Clark (9) have joined other clubs, while Beau Dowler (6), Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls (8) and Marcus Drum (10) are no longer in the AFL.

Ellis was afflicted with knee, foot and calf problems in 2012, but fought his way back into the side and played in the 2012 grand final defeat; this year, he missed a chunk of the season with a strained medial ligament and missed out on the finals.

But Simpson, who knows Ellis' abilities and situation well, has clearly indicated to the Eagles that the 25-year-old was worth signing.

Ellis, who played 86 games for the Hawks, is an unrestricted free agent and can simply move to the club of his choice, costing the Eagles nothing except the terms of his contract.

Ellis becomes the second premiership player to leave the Hawks, following Lance Franklin's signing by the Swans on an extraordinary nine-year deal, with the Hawks having gained ruckman Ben McEvoy from St Kilda in another surprising transaction.

Fremantle had been on record that it had an interest in Ellis, but had already signed Colin Sylvia and has had an interest in Essendon forward Scott Gumbleton, who is out of contract and likely to move.

18 comments so far

  • Thanks Xavier for some great games and great memories of 2008. Hope you have success at the eagles and a better run with injuries. Still time to add to the 89 games and maybe reach 150 and beyond!

    Date and time
    October 15, 2013, 8:19PM
    • +1

      Date and time
      October 15, 2013, 10:10PM
  • Ellis is the third Hawk who played a big part in the 2008 Flag win , but has been plagued by injury since. Mark Williams went to Essendon but played only a few games and missed a lot more before giving it away. Clinton Young was out injured for much of the time after '08 , played a few games in '12 and went to C'wood this year but managed only a couple of games. All three of them were big contributors in the '08 G.F. , but none has had much luck since. Hope "X" can break the pattern and get on the park a lot more often.

    rural nsw
    Date and time
    October 15, 2013, 8:49PM
    • Don't forget Trent Croad, who couldn't recover from his broken foot and retired at the end of 2009.

      Date and time
      October 16, 2013, 8:55AM
    • And no. 1 ruck Robbie Campbell who's knee gave way in 2009.

      Stan Cash
      Date and time
      October 16, 2013, 11:39AM
  • Undoubtedly a class act, thanks from another hawks fan. Here's hoping for a better run with injuries into the future.

    Date and time
    October 15, 2013, 8:49PM
    • Good move for everyone!!

      Date and time
      October 15, 2013, 9:08PM
      • Yes, good pickup by the Eagles... hope he can stay injury free. ;-)

        Date and time
        October 15, 2013, 10:12PM
        • My thoughts exactly Robbo265. Well done on your time at the Hawks Xavier and I hope you get a better run with injuries. Always Hawthorn

          Will Turner
          Date and time
          October 15, 2013, 10:18PM
          • Well done Xavier, we all loved watching yr leadership & dedication @ MBG. Just as impressive @ HFC. All the best champ. On a less pleasant note, can someone please explain to me who Scott Watters has helped play better footy @ Saints. Apart from Roberton & the natural progression of Newnes. He finally had the courage to play Curren and didn't have the guts to retire Milne or Saad. Goddard and McEvoy couldn't find form under him. He just hasn't got the necessary amount of b#^%^rd in him to properly lead 45 odd ambitious/competitive young warriors. Please, someone, don't let the Saints have a 3rd season of weak/under the radar senior coach/leading this proud club down the road to nowhere. Thanks JUGGERNAUT SCOTT...NO THANKS. # Thudor, Burns, Davidson, Sumich, Lade, Dew, Goodwin. Even Voss would be a coup. Please Saints, stop hiding from the confrontation, in Summers own words "everyone at every level has to stand up". Come on Peter! This is an official letter from your members

            Date and time
            October 15, 2013, 10:58PM

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