Joey Montagna on Sam Mitchell and the Hawthorn rebuild

Joey Says Sam Mitchell Won’t Be Coach When Hawthorn Next Play Finals

Joey Montagna has delivered a scathing assessment of a Hawthorn rebuild that he says will take “closer to 10” years to complete.


“[There’s] This fallacy about the Hawks rebuild being the right way to go about it and using their 2005 model when Alastair Clarkson arrived as a blueprint. To go back then is absolutely flawed, people forget there were priority picks handed out if you didn’t win six games.

“They had 10 top 30 picks in two years… you can’t do that anymore.

The Hawks weren’t able to acquire a first-round pick during the trade period, parting ways with Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara and Jack Gunston.


Joey said there are a multitude of factors working against Sam Mitchell and the Hawks that means they can’t emulate the Hawthorn rebuild of 2005.

“Free agency now means the teams at the top stay at the top for longer, so it is actually harder to rebuild.

“Carlton’s the most recent example, they got McKay, Curnow and Weitering in one draft – but that was 8 years ago, and they’re finally going to play finals after 8 years.

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“It just goes to show it is not a 3, 5, 6 year rebuild. It is closer to 10.”


With all that said, Joey Montagna believes Mitchell won’t be at the helm when the Hawthorn rebuild is complete and the Hawks are contending again, drawing on historical examples of the length of full-scale rebuilds.

“I’m more convinced now that [Sam Mitchell] won’t be there the next time they play finals. History shows that very few coaches that go through the real rebuild are the ones that actually come out on the other side.

“The only example of a quick rebuild is probably the Sydney Swans… but they’ve got 5 Academy kids. They’ve got Mills, Heeney, Nick Blakey, Gulden and Campbell, and they were able to keep pick 4 Logan McDonald. 

“It’s going to be a long, long haul for the Hawks, and Hawks fans have to be mighty patient.”

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