Cap squeeze turns into giant GWS headache

Jason Phelan
Cap squeeze turns into giant GWS headache

The salary cap squeeze at GWS is set to claim another victim with Tom Scully eyeing a move to Hawthorn.

The former No.1 pick for Melbourne at the 2009 draft is believed to have requested a go-home trade to the Hawks after 121 games in seven seasons with GWS.

The Giants have been at pains to dismiss the notion a fire sale of talent is required for them to come in under the cap in 2019.

But if Scully joins Dylan Shiel (Essendon), Rory Lobb (Fremantle), Will Setterfield (Carlton) and possibly Jeremy Finlayson in departing it will indicate the league's youngest club is grappling with a major salary cap problem.

GWS football chief Wayne Campbell has conceded the club has known a squeeze was coming for a couple of years, with the Giants starting to see the flip side of their successful list build.

"People prior to me did a magnificent job of assembling some really good talent and we're seven years into it now and a lot of those players are coming into their prime in playing ability and earning capacity," Campbell said on AFL Trade Radio this week.

"We probably have more of those than most.

"We then (brought in) guys like Shane Mumford, Heath Shaw, Brett Deledio and Ryan Griffen to have a go at a flag and we've got close over the last three years but we haven't made it to a grand final.

"That's added up to a situation ... where we'll be needing to shed some players."

That scenario continues a concerning trend for the Giants, who have regularly shed stars like Adam Treloar, Taylor Adams, Tom Boyd, Willl Hoskin-Elliott and Cam McCarthy in recent years.

Devon Smith (Essendon) and Nathan Wilson (Fremantle) also departed last year and North Melbourne will come hard for Josh Kelly again at the end of next year.

After missing out on Shiel and Gold Coast free agent Tom Lynch, the Hawks are muscling their way into trade period in no uncertain terms.

On Thursday, mercurial Port Adelaide forward Chad Wingard declared he wants to play for Alastair Clarkson from next season and now Scully appears set to follow suit.

It remains to be seen how Hawthorn gets both deals done.

The Hawks' first two draft picks are currently No.15 and No.35, with contracted young defender Ryan Burton reported to be mulling his part in a possible swap for Wingard.