Mercurial Cat learns harsh trade lesson
Photo Source: AAP
Geelong star Tom Hawkins is confident teammate Steve Motlop can bounce back after being put on the AFL trade table by the Cats.
List manager Stephen Wells admitted there had been little interest in the mercurial midfielder after the club made it known they would listen to trade offers following his inconsistent 2016 campaign.
Richmond quickly rebuffed Motlop's inclusion in a potential trade for star veteran Brett Deledio and, with three days remaining in the trade period, he looks likely to remain a Geelong player.
Motlop's departure would have also given the Cats room to move as they try to land Carlton defender Zach Tuohy.
At his best, Motlop is a damaging line breaker and Hawkins believes he is committed to returning to the club in peak fitness after the harsh reality check.
"I would say he's had some pretty honest conversations," Hawkins told AFL Trade Radio.
"I know from speaking to him over the break he's certainly been training and he's looking forward to playing next year.
"Steve would admit himself, he didn't put himself in the best position when he turned up to the start of the 2016 pre-season in bad shape.
"He would admit again that he didn't have his best year of footy. He certainly played some great games, but wasn't as consistent this year.
"I think he's learned a lot about himself this year. I love playing with him ... the year wasn't a disaster for him by any means.
"I'm very happy that he's staying."
Hawkins is a big fan of Deledio and Tuohy, but the Cats have been hamstrung in their efforts to land the pair by last year's trade bonanza that netted four players, including star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield.
Shane Kersten and Nathan Vardy are expected to depart the club in coming days but those deals are unlikely to allow the Cats to make significant inroads in negotiations for Deledio and Tuohy.
Hawkins struggled himself at times this season and admitted he had been hampered by a niggling knee injury.
"I had a little bit of an issue with my meniscus so they repaired that," he said of last week's surgery.
"My recovery has been pretty good so far. I've spent a fair bit of time on the couch, but it probably changes my off-season plans.
"I only found out on the morning of the best and fairest that I was going to get it done.
"But it was a good time to get it done. I can rehab it slow and steady."