Hawthorn Hawks

AFL 2017 Round 20 - Richmond v Hawthorn

These three Hawks may not be playing next year

Hawthorn has never been afraid to make tough changes to their list with the likes of Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis being moved on in one way or another.

Hawks premiership player Shane Crawford believes the time might be coming for more tough choices.

Current club captain Jarryd Roughead has had an up and down season and Crawford said there’ll be a question mark on whether he can go on.

However, he wants people to take into account what the forward has been through.

“I think there’s a question mark (on Roughead),” Crawford told SEN Breakfast.

“I hope people take into account what he’s been through. He’s had to fight for his life.

“What has that done to his body? Not only has he been able to play, but he’s played some good football, he’s the captain of the club, I really hope that they take all that into account.

“I think it’s a remarkable story that he’s even playing.”

Roughead was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

Crawford looked at other senior Hawks and whether they’ll be around next year as well.

“You’ve got players like Shaun Burgoyne and Grant Birchall who’ve been amazing, but (Clarkson will) also be extremely respectful and they’ll know what he’s thinking right now.”

“He’s always thinking what’s best for the footy club and what’s going to move them forward and as much as we love these players, you’ve got to move on.

“I think (Burgoyne) will play on.

“(Birchall) hasn’t been able to get on the ground. I don’t want to end anyone’s career, but you’d think he probably (won’t be there).

The Hawks currently sit outside the eight after their surprising loss to Brisbane in Tasmania, but Crawford still believes they have what it takes to be a factor in finals.

“Their top 22 are really good, I think depth wise they’re struggling a touch, so this is where it gets a bit tough,” he said.

“I still think they’ll be thereabouts. I still think they can scrape into the finals, they’ve got winnable games.

“I had concerns about them last year, but the master coach found a way to get them competitive.

“They made really tough decisions by getting Jaeger O’Meara in and getting Tom Mitchell and moving a lot of the older players on and they’re in that situation again, so they’ll find a way to be competitive.”

Hawthorn will face Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.