By Jason Phelan 2:05 PM
Fri 08 Oct, 2010
HAWTHORN has won the race to sign ruckman David Hale after agreeing to send the compensation pick they received for Campbell Brown to North Melbourne.
Hale, 26, had also attracted strong interest from Melbourne this week, but the Dees' offer of their second-round NAB AFL Draft selection - currently No.32 overall - was no match for the end-of-first-round pick that Hawthorn gained from the AFL when Brown joined Gold Coast last month.
The clubs have also traded picks 52 (to Hawthorn) and 71 (North Melbourne).
However, North can elect to use the compensation pick, which will follow any priority selections, in any of the next five drafts.
Hawthorn's general manager of player personnel and strategy Chris Pelchen was pleased with Hale's decision to join the club.
"We see his ability to play a hybrid role as a ruckman-cum-forward as a really positive addition to our team ahead of the 2011 AFL season. Both his experience and versatility can provide a great benefit to our developing ruck group at the Hawks," he told hawthornfc.com.au.
"David is a native Gold Coast footballer and we are extremely pleased that he has decided to stay in Melbourne to further his football career.
"As a first-round draft selection in the much-vaunted 2001 national draft, David's ability has been widely recognised and resulted in him being a much sought-after recruit in the 2010 AFL trade period."
Melbourne later confirmed that it was not prepared to commit its first-round draft pick to a deal for Hale.
"North Melbourne came back to us, requesting we flip the first-round selection with them," list manager Tim Harrington told melbournefc.com.au.
"This would have given them number 12 and we get their number 17 in return - something we didn't contemplate - and give up number 32."
Hale, the seventh overall selection in the 2001 draft, played 129 games for North.
But the development of fellow big men Hamish McIntosh and Todd Goldstein saw him spend more time as a permanent forward in recent seasons, and a good part of this year in the VFL.
He had two years to run on his North contract.
Hale's former teammate, Josh Gibson, was traded to Hawthorn in last year's exchange period while ex-captain Adam Simpson is an assistant coach to Alastair Clarkson.
Follow our complete coverage of the 2010 AFL exchange period from October 5-11. No trades are official until paperwork has been accepted by the AFL and formally recognised after 2pm on Monday, October 11.
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