Hawks eye Lions premiership trio as PSP pursuits heat up

HAWTHORN is pursuing an ambitious raid on Brisbane's best premiership talents ahead of the beginning of the AFLW's new priority signing period (PSP) on Wednesday, targeting mega deals for Emily Bates, Greta Bodey and Cathy Svarc.

Womens.afl understands the Hawks have met with all three players recently as they continue to chase blue-chip signings that will kickstart their program, almost a year after they had launched initial attempts to sign the trio.

Under the new AFLW rules, Hawthorn is allowed to sign three players as PSP recruits without having to negotiate a trade and it's believed the club has placed a significant focus on landing the Brisbane trio in recent days.

Emily Bates handballs during Brisbane's Grand Final against Melbourne in season seven, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

There's growing industry confidence that at least Bates and Bodey will lob at the Hawks, while Svarc is still believed to be weighing up their interest and also has other Victorian clubs monitoring her situation.

As revealed back in April last year, the Hawks had tried to sign Bates throughout the League's initial expansion sign and trade period and just months after she had claimed a clean sweep of the AFLW's individual awards.

They later attempted to also sign her teammates Bodey and Svarc, failing to land deals, but have since rekindled their interest and are now viewed as being in a much greater position to secure agreements with at least two of the three.

The signings, should they come to fruition, would represent a significant statement of Hawthorn's intent ahead of the PSP and would come after fellow expansion outfit Sydney secured a deal for Collingwood superstar Chloe Molloy last week.

Chloe Molloy gets a handball away during round 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The Hawks had struggled to recruit landmark signings on the eve of their maiden AFLW season, leading to a 3-7 record and ensuring they were again handed concessions to recruit rival players ahead of next month's sign and trade period.

Hawthorn has subsequently moved for Bates, Bodey and Svarc, with the club having previously been unsuccessful in its pursuits to also add Collingwood midfielder Mikala Cann and Melbourne premiership player Maddi Gay.

Maddi Gay in action during Melbourne's S7 round 10 match against West Coast at Casey Fields on October 29, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Bates has established herself as one of the AFLW's premier players throughout her 66-game Brisbane career. She has won three Lions best and fairests, claimed three All-Australian blazers, and in 2022 won the League best and fairest, the AFLPA Most Valuable Player award and the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year all within the space of a month.

Bodey, a premiership teammate of Bates' in 2021, is a one-time All-Australian and finished the 2022 season as Brisbane's leading goalkicker. She has bagged 35 goals from her 42 games with the club.

Svarc, another 2021 premiership player at the Lions, has established herself as one of the League's toughest midfielders across her 43-game career. She averaged 11.1 disposals and 9.3 tackles per game last season.