Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright is hopeful young ruckman Marc Pittonet remains at the club and believes he could elevate himself to the number one ruck role in 2020.
Pittonet is out of contract having only played seven games in the last three seasons and has been linked with Carlton.
However, Wright believes the Hawks could continue experimenting with Ben McEvoy in defence, which would open up room for Pittonet at senior level.
“I’ve been in contact with him in the last few days and we have reiterated how keen we are for him to stay,” he told Telstra AFL Trade Radio.
“From a development point of view, we’ve put a lot of time and effort into him, so we’re really hopeful that he accepts our offer and stays here and fights for the number one ruck role.
“Your view might be that he is down the pecking order, but from ours, he’s someone whose consistency has really improved in the last couple of years, he’s 23, right in that window for young ruckmen.
“We played Ben McEvoy back at the end of the year. As far as I understand from our coach, he’s pretty keen to keep going with that, which would leave Jon Ceglar in the number one ruck role right at the moment.
“In all these situations, whether you’re number one or two, it depends on how you perform. I certainly think Pittonet can have a big pre-season and we certainly think he can be (our number one) in time.”