Ben McEvoy is excited about what Chad Wingard will deliver for Hawthorn once footy returns.
The 26-year-old experienced a slow start to life as a Hawk in 2019 but his last two months of the season suggested he was almost back to the absolute best he displayed over his career at Port Adelaide.
As the resumption of the delayed season draws near, McEvoy identified two-time All-Australian Wingard as one player in particular who will have an enormous impact on the Hawks in 2020.
“I reckon Chad’s one that it’s like watch this space because he’s right to go,” he said on SEN SA Breakfast.
“It’s always tough transitioning clubs and he had some injury issues and that sort of stuff but the second half of last year as we started to get him into the midfield more, (I was) really excited by what I saw.
“I think he’s going to be huge for us this year.”
Wingard’s former Power teammate Jarman Impey is another Hawk that McEvoy cannot wait to see back playing after he tore his ACL late last season.
“He’s going really well. He’s in my training group at the minute and he’s doing most of the skill stuff we’re doing,” he added.
“He’s flying along. He’s in great shape physically and in great shape mentally as well. The way he’s attacked his rehab over the last six or seven months has been really impressive.
“He was playing the best footy he’s ever played before he unfortunately did his knee. It’s exciting that we’ll hopefully have him back for what could be a fair chunk of this season, certainly the second half of it.”
Regularly a ruckman, McEvoy is set to move to a defensive role this season and although he admits he’s a novice, he is confident his colleagues around him will make life easier as he transitions to the backline.
“I’ve only had a few games (as a defender). The last round last year playing on Jack Darling, I think he was All-Australian, so going into that game I had the jitters a little bit to be honest,” he said further.
“But once you get into the game it’s not too bad. I think how footy is played now, where 30 years ago going one out in defensive 50 that might have been a little bit tough, but it’s such a team defence mindset now.
“The back six work really closely as a group so you are always getting a chop out from someone when you get stuck.”