Geelong recruit Jonathon Ceglar has no bitterness towards Hawthorn after leaving the club on the final day of the AFL trade on Wednesday.
The Cats gave up a future third-round selection (tied to Brisbane) in exchange for the Hawks' 101-gamer and a future fourth-round pick.
"I had a phone call from (new Hawthorn coach) Sam Mitchell on the Saturday before the trade period and he said, 'if we could get a deal done with you, would you consider it? We're going in a different direction from an age bracket'," the 30-year-old Border product offered.
"He said, 'if you're interested, let us know, we'll try and work something out, if not and you want to stay (Ceglar was contracted for 2022), that's totally your call, we're happy to keep you'."
The 204cm ruckman only considered two or three other clubs.
"One of them was Geelong, so once that got the ball rolling, it went from there," he revealed.
"Geelong is successful on the field, at Hawthorn we only had a lot of respect for them as a club.
"Having (former Hawthorn team-mate) Isaac Smith, who I'm still good friends with, go there last year, telling me how good a place it was to be involved with, it's a club you never hear players who leave bag the club, ever.
"I think they run a really good organisation from the outside looking in."
And Ceglar knows what a top football club looks like after nine years with the Hawks.
"I leave the footy club with great memories and no bitterness towards them whatsoever," he declared proudly.
It's often considered ruckmen don't peak until their late 20s or early 30s and Ceglar maintains he has plenty of top football left.
"It's (my best footy) definitely not behind me," he admitted.
"Put it this way, my back end of the year is probably as good as I've ever played.
"It's been a blessing in disguise having a few injuries earlier in my career, I haven't played as much footy as I should have, it will probably save me at the back end of my career."
Ceglar, who will turn 31 in February, is contracted for two years.
"I'll see where I am after that, when you get over 30, you probably can't look too much further than that," he said.
Meanwhile, fellow Border product Max Lynch joined Hawthorn on Wednesday after playing three games with Collingwood since joining the club with selection No. 51 in the 2016 Rookie Draft.
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Lynch was desperate for more game time as the Pies used forwards Darcy Cameron or Mason Cox to support Brodie Grundy.
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