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‘Cyril was the one player we were most keen on’

Former Hawthorn recruiter Gary Buckenara brought Cyril Rioli to the club in 2007 and explained why the club pushed so hard to draft him.

Speaking on Macquarie Sports Radio Melbourne Breakfast, Buckenara said that Rioli “was the one player we were most keen on” in 2007 after a stellar season at Scotch College. Although there were knocks on Rioli at the time, Buckenara says they always knew he had the pedigree to make it at AFL level.

“He wasn’t the fittest young man going around. He was a bit lazy and would sit at full forward because of his fitness. We knew though, that he had that football pedigree and we could see that he had the excitement factor.”

Asked about how Cyril acted in the Pre-draft interviews the former Hawks recruiter believes that Cyril did pick and choose certain clubs he wanted to play at.

“We knew other clubs were keen, but we also know that Cyril didn’t interview well with interstate clubs or clubs he didn’t want to play for. Essendon and Hawthorn were two clubs he interviewed well for because he wanted to play for them.”


When quizzed on how Hawthorn could now spend the money that Rioli will leave behind Buckenara believes that the Hawks are about to launch a huge play for two of the competitions best players.

“Don’t worry about Hawthorn. They have a lot of money. They certainly can afford Sloane and Lynch. I would expect both or at least one of them to end up at the Hawks.”

Rioli played 189 games and booted 275 goals for the Hawks as well as winning 4 premierships in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Click PLAY to listen to the full interview