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Hawks eye Docker; experienced Crows up for grabs

Rival clubs told The Age on Wednesday that both players would be valued at approximately second-round draft picks, mainly due to Crouch’s injury history and Talia’s age.

Coach Matthew Nicks addressed the situation surrounding the contracts for Crouch, Lynch and Talia in late June.

“I am not going to come out and say they have to play football [this season] for them to be at this footy club going forward, that’s not the case,” Nicks said

“But it is factored into the conversation at this point.”

Meanwhile, Fremantle small forward Lachie Schultz is on Hawthorn’s radar, with the Hawks showing interest in bringing him to Waverley as a free agent at the end of the season.

Originally from Moama, Schultz played for the Bendigo Pioneers but was undrafted as an 18-year-old, before pressing his case for an opportunity at the top level with strong form for Williamstown in the VFL.

Taken at pick 57 in the 2018 draft, Schultz played seven AFL games for the Dockers in his first season but has become a senior regular under Justin Longmuir, playing all bar one game for Freo since the start of last season.

The Hawks are interested in Docker Lachie Schultz.

The Hawks are interested in Docker Lachie Schultz.Credit:Getty

He has kicked 17 goals from 15 matches this season as well as laying 38 tackles.

While Schultz is only approaching the end of his third season as a Docker, he qualifies as an unrestricted free agent. This is because he was last year delisted by Fremantle under the AFL’s special provisions for clubs to move players from their senior list to their rookie list to help teams cope with list size reductions that followed the COVID-19 financial hit.

Fellow Docker Brett Bewley, another product of the VFL, also fits into that category.

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As such the Hawks could nab Schultz without giving up a draft pick if he wanted to join the club. Sources familiar with the situation have confirmed to The Age that Schultz has attracted rival attention and that the Hawks have shown interest in the 178-centimetre goalsneak.

Having once boasted a small forward line-up that was the envy of the league, the Hawks have used various different players through that area of the ground in recent years following the premature retirement of Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo’s career coming to an end last year. Luke Breust has been a mainstay but is now 30, although Dylan Moore has established himself this year. Ollie Hanrahan has, however, been unable to cement a spot and is out-of-contract at season’s end. Tyler Brockman also got a taste of AFL action early in the season before returning against the Dockers on the weekend.

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