Could Dan Hannebery find a new lease on life at another club? Picture: AAP
Could Dan Hannebery find a new lease on life at another club? Picture: AAP

Could Hannebery find new life at another club?

DAN Hannebery is cooked.

It is a popular refrain these days, when writing a decorated player off is as easy as a couple of taps of a keyboard.

It's hard to disagree that on present form he looks a shadow of his former self, a three-time All Australian and AFLCA player of the year.

Yet in his situation surely there presents a massive opportunity for a club who still sees the opportunity in a 27-year-old battling injury issues.

Instead of regarding the Sydney onballer as done and dusted, could a club like St Kilda take a high-risk punt on him realising he has valid reasons for his form slump?

Personally, he looks like a player coming off osteitis pubis and three soft-tissue strains, which is exactly what he has endured.

The jungle drums certainly keep beating about his availability, even if his management yesterday said he had heard nothing about a potential trade.

Hannebery has three years remaining on a lucrative three-year deal, but the feeling is he might be gettable by a club willing to take a risk.

Why wouldn't St Kilda back in its injury management systems to take a player seemingly at rock bottom?

 

Could Saints coach Alan Richardson take a punt on Dan Hannebery? Picture: AAP
Could Saints coach Alan Richardson take a punt on Dan Hannebery? Picture: AAP

 

It is the kind of bold and ballsy decision that the Saints need given the expectation that will be heaped upon them next year.

They can't just roll around with a similar list and hope that a six or eight-win season alleviates the pressure on every single figure at a club that hasn't played finals since 2011.

At anywhere near his best Hannebery is exactly the kind of player Alan Richardson needs - a gut-running freak who also wins the hard ball and breaks lines to boot.

St Kilda wouldn't need to give up the world - maybe a high future second-round pick - and yet the dividends if they got him right would be overwhelming.

For everyone who wants to kick to Hannebery to death, they should look back at what has befallen him since the 2016 Grand Final.

In that game his knee buckled when his legs were taken out from under him, yet he trained so hard (also swearing off the booze) that he won the first time trial months later.

As John Longmire has since said, it should have been a warning sign with the subsequent osteitis wiping out his 2017 season.

He still played 23 games last year but he carried that debilitating groin issue all year.

Then after being nursed through this off-season to rest his groin, he tweaked his calf midway through the summer.

Then in Round 5 he tweaked his groin again - not the osteitis pubis but a muscle tear - and then did his calf again in Round 16.

Clearly, it's been a hellish two seasons featuring average football this year, which is why people are happy to write him off.

But every list management decision is about risk assessment, and for a player turning 28 next February isn't he a chance St Kilda should investigate taking?

 

What should Collingwood do with injury-riddled star Jamie Elliot? Picture: Mark Stewart
What should Collingwood do with injury-riddled star Jamie Elliot? Picture: Mark Stewart

 

Collingwood has a similar issue with Jamie Elliott, a free agent who after 34 goals last year would have hoped to cash in this year after another star turn.

Instead talks are still in abeyance until he can play regular senior footy, which likely won't happen at all this year.

Does he sign one-year deal that tides him over until he becomes a free agent next year?

With back, ankle and now hamstring issues, does he have any leverage over the Pies?

Surely he's too banged up for another club to have a nibble at, but how does he fit into Collingwood's front six next year?

If St Kilda had a dash at him or even free agent Alex Fasolo it might allow them to play Jade Gresham, brilliant on Saturday, in the midfield even more.

For every junk bond on the stock market there is a blue chip stock about to bounce back, and Hannebery or Elliott might represent that chance right now.

 

 

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