Out-of-favour Richmond forward Robin Nahas should look for opportunities elsewhere, and could be a handy recruit for a number of sides requiring goal-kicking small forwards.
The rise of the Tigers in 2013, which has seen them land a position in the Top 8, has seen Nahas spend most of the year playing for Coburg, managing only five senior games and not one since round 9.
In his previous two seasons, Nahas played every game and was the second option up forward behind Jack Riewoldt – the Coleman Medallist in both seasons.
Renowned for his tackling pressure, Nahas managed 63 goals in the two seasons, and was a fan favourite amongst Tiger supporters.
But opportunities may arise elsewhere, and at 25 years of age he still has plenty to offer.
Hardwick seems to have a number of preferred options, re-signing Jake King on a one-year contract, leaving Nahas un-signed.
In June, Hardwick told Fairfax Media that it is not an error in his game, but rather the improvement of a number of other small forwards.
“He’s a player that’s certainly got some things in his game that we really like. He’s a noted goalkicker. At the moment he’s basically competing with Shane Edwards and Jake King for a spot, and we think those two guys have got him at the moment,” he said.
Jake King again spends time on the sideline this week with hamstring soreness, although Nahas is yet to receive a call up, as Hardwick elects to go with Matt White and Shane Edwards.
Despite being inconsistent at times, Nahas would be a cheap, yet important acquisition for a number of sides, including Sydney and Essendon, who lack a dominant crumbing forward to complement their key position players.
The Swans have been known to recruit recycled players, and have recruited several small forwards in recent years, exemplified best by premiership players Mitch Morton and Nick Davis.
They were brought in to play a role, and to fill a gap, and Nahas could do exactly that, playing a similar role as an X-factor.
With Tippett bolstering an already well stocked forward line featuring Reid and White, it is important for them to find a balance between marking and crumbing forwards, and Nahas could thrive at a club like Sydney.
Essendon on the other hand, have trialled a number of players in the position in recent years, although are yet to find a consistent goalkicker.
Leroy Jetta and Alywn Davey have provided a spark at times, although alike many small forwards, have struggled with form and consistency.
Nahas has averaged 3.98 tackles per game in his 82 games at Richmond thus far, and his defensive work in the forward line could strengthen almost any side.
If Nahas can recapture his form from 2012 in which he averaged over 19 disposals, he could even offer plenty to a young side like GWS, leading by example both on and off the track with a high work rate.
It seemingly becomes less likely that Nahas will be offered a contract extension with Richmond, and could be of use for a number of AFL sides if presented the opportunity.
Blake Gray is a second-year Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) student at La Trobe Uni in Melbourne. You can follow him on Twitter: @blake_gray14