Breust happy with call to remain at Hawks

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After a "hairy" trade period, three-time AFL premiership forward Luke Breust is happier by the day with his decision to stay at Hawthorn.

Breust weighed up his future last October after 239 games with the Hawks as GWS came calling.

The Hawks were willing to part ways with Breust, and fellow star Chad Wingard, to improve their draft hand after Sam Mitchell took over as coach from four-time premiership mastermind Alastair Clarkson.

But Breust and Wingard were determined to remain at Waverley Park and have been rewarded as the Hawks have defied expectations this season.

Hawthorn will improve their record to 4-4 and be on the cusp of the top-eight if they take care of struggling Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

"It did get pretty hairy through that period, it was quite hectic for myself and my wife Anthea as well to try and make life-changing decisions in less than 48 hours," Breust said when recalling last year's trade period.

"But absolutely rapt with the decision, to have started the year the way we have, we're standing up and our game plan is standing up and personnel continuing to get better.

"The chance to be a one-club player is huge for me."

Breust filled in for Wingard's scheduled media conference on Friday morning after the two-time All-Australian fell ill ahead of his 200th game.

Wingard has tested negative for COVID-19 and the Hawks are hoping he will continue to avoid entering coronavirus protocols.

The 28-year-old has only just returned to the Hawthorn side after missing games against St Kilda and Geelong due to a calf issue.

"Chad has a non-COVID related illness, just felt pretty ordinary so unfortunately for him it's meant to be 200 games," Breust said.

"It would have been great to celebrate that milestone, and we'll give him every chance and it will probably just be a game-time decision to see whether he can get up or not.

"I haven't seen him (on Friday) ... hopefully he can turn the corner in the next 24 hours."

Wingard started his career at Port Adelaide in 2012, playing 147 games for the Power before switching to Hawthorn ahead of the 2019 season.

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