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Hawks followed rules in O'Meara trade: AFL

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Jason Phelan

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has dismissed criticism of Hawthorn's trade for Gold Coast youngster Jaeger O'Meara, declaring it perfectly legal.

O'Meara joined the Hawks late on the final day of the AFL trade period in a complicated swap that included Hawthorn's first-round pick this year as well as next year's second-round selection.

Such a move had been thought to be in contravention of the AFL's own rules because the Hawks had already traded out their first-round pick at the 2017 draft in a separate deal with St Kilda.

But McLachlan said all clubs had been made fully aware of the new guidelines and rejected any suggestion of confusion or impropriety.

"I reckon the rules are clear ... the trade was perfectly legal and I don't think there's any grey (area) in that," McLachlan told reporters on Wednesday.

"If anybody needed any clarification, they spoke to (AFL salary cap executive) Ken Wood during the process and I think they got pretty clear answers."

The AFL introduced future draft-pick trading in 2015 as it attempted to make it easier for clubs to get deals done during the trade period.

However, strict rules were put in place to safeguard against clubs placing their future drafts in jeopardy in search of short-term success.

The Hawks and the Suns remained locked in a stalemate over O'Meara's value as the trade period deadline approached.

The crucial factor in getting the deal done was Hawthorn's ability to secure a second-round pick next year in a separate deal with Greater Western Sydney that also included Carlton.

The AFL initially announced the Hawks had included that pick in the O'Meara deal, which would have broken the rules.

"It was an administrative error," McLachlan said.

"They talked about GWS' second-round pick next year instead of Hawthorn's.

"I reckon people can be happy that it's a clerical error. I think it's been a little over-hyped."

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