Port Adelaide star Chad Wingard’s move to Hawthorn leaves many questions. Picture: Sarah Reed
Port Adelaide star Chad Wingard’s move to Hawthorn leaves many questions. Picture: Sarah Reed

Wingard’s on the move but questions remain

CHAD Wingard was conditional in his vow, so we cannot be sure when the fly-away Port Adelaide star will actually spill all.

The list of "tell-all books" in AFL company is certainly growing.

"You'll hear my side of the story when the time is right dw (don't worry) about that!," Wingard declared on social media last week as it became clear his lock on being a Port Adelaide player - and only a Port Adelaide player - was broken.

So when will the time be right?

It might not be when (and it seems more when than if) Wingard gets to Hawthorn in a trade that is sweating against the 8pm deadline on Wednesday.

Wise and mature men at the Hawks would advise the moody Wingard of the merit of looking forward rather than back.

Even Shaun Burgoyne has never fully raked over the fire from his exit from Port Adelaide to Hawthorn at the end of 2009.

It certainly will not be if Wingard is compelled to return to Alberton to serve out his contract before seeking a guaranteed escape path with free agency in 12 months.

But there will be many Port Adelaide fans who cannot understand why a club champion, a two-time All-Australian and one of the Power's most-talented players has sought to leave Alberton.

More so when Wingard had become the poster boy of that now questionable image that no player eagerly leaves Port Adelaide.

Wingard's version of how it all changed will be fascinating and it will be, as he said on social media, his side of the story.

There are heaps of questions about Wingard.

 

Chad Wingard moves forward. Picture: Sarah Reed
Chad Wingard moves forward. Picture: Sarah Reed

 

Did Wingard buy into Port Adelaide's demands for "unconditional" commitment this season?

Some say he did not go the extra yards in a competition that reminds all that talent is not enough.

Did Wingard struggle to understand there is a difference between where a team needs a player in the structured line-up and where a player would prefer to play?

There is a good reason why coaches - and not players - move the magnets on the team whiteboard.

Is Wingard now motivated by money, hence the reports of his wish to have a million-dollar annual salary - a theme certainly not met at Hawthorn?

Did Wingard struggle with the challenging feedback from his end-of-season "exit" review?

 

Chad Wingard with Jared Polec and Ken Hinkley. Picture: Sarah Reed
Chad Wingard with Jared Polec and Ken Hinkley. Picture: Sarah Reed

 

Clearly, Port Adelaide needed to handle Wingard better next year but was Wingard prepared to change as well?

For the second time in two years Port Adelaide has had two talented and highly regarded players - Hamish Hartlett and Wingard - challenged in the exit reviews.

In 2016, Hartlett took the Power's advice to consider his options, trudged with his manager Michael Doughty to interviews with Essendon and Richmond and opted to stay at Alberton. But Hartlett also accepted he needed to change - and conceded he was not suited to being a midfielder.

Hartlett showed maturity.

In 2018, Wingard has been courted by Hawthorn - and for some time it seems - and the Western Bulldogs. He has opted to join the Hawks. And Wingard will find no matter where he plays, talent is not enough to fulfil expectation in the AFL.

The Wingard enigma keeps growing.

 

Shaun Burgoyne at Port Adelaide training.
Shaun Burgoyne at Port Adelaide training.


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