Hawthorn set to make play to lure Jamarra Ugle-Hagan out of the Western Bulldogs during 2024 AFL trade period

Hawthorn are circling emerging Western Bulldogs key forward Jamarrah Ugle-Hagan.

According to 7NEWS Melbourne’s Mitch Cleary, the Hawks have plans to lure the former No.1 AFL draft pick to Waverley and pair him with Mitch Lewis to form a new two-pronged attack.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Rival AFL club circling Western Bulldogs forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.

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The 21-year-old, who turns 22 next month, is out of contract at the end of 2024 and will be an in-demand commodity — at several rival clubs — whose value on the open market would sky rocket after a breakout 2023 season.

Ugle-Hagan played every game last year and kicked 35 goals for the season, up from 18 in 2022, and had 14 goal assists, 12 more than the year before, to stamp himself as one of the best young forwards in the game.

“This is big,” Cleary said on Talking Footy on Wednesday night.

“Right now, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan is the most in-demand key forward in the competition.”

7NEWS understands the Western Bulldogs are confident their Next Generation Academy product will remain at the Kennel, but the Hawks have now entered the race for his services beyond this year.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan is a man in demand. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Hawthorn are in the market for a key defender as well as a key forward, and they have salary cap space, according to Cleary.

They have made unsuccessful plays for Port Adelaide key forward Todd Marshall, Gold Coast’s Ben King, and the Bulldogs’ Aaron Naughton in recent years.

Collingwood and Sydney have also been linked to Ugle-Hagan, who is certain to have a big decision on his hands at the end of the year.

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Speaking to Channel 7 in November, Ugle-Hagan said he wants to repay the Bulldogs for their investment in him.

“I love the Dogs and they’ve obviously looked after me since I was 15,” he said at the time.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the club.

“We’ve got such a good opportunity to win a couple of flags together.

“We’ve got a really talented list. But yeah, I definitely (want) to stay at the Dogs.”

The Bulldogs missed the finals last year despite a list littered with elite talent, including a battery of key position stars and arguably the competition’s best player, Marcus Bontempelli.

Entering his 10th season in charge at Whitten Oval, Luke Beveridge feels “freed up” to help steer the Bulldogs back into the finals.

Luke Beveridge is eyeing a return to AFL finals in his 10th season in charge at Whitten Oval. Credit: AAP

Premiership fancies going into the 2023 season, the Bulldogs ended up missing the finals because of a disastrous Round 23 defeat at home to wooden spooners West Coast.

In the face of that embarrassing loss, Beveridge remained resolute that he was the right man to lead the club.

That belief never wavered for the 53-year-old, even when club president Kylie Watson-Wheeler brought in former Essendon and Melbourne chief executive Peter Jackson to lead an external review.

“I know how strong my relationships are with the playing group, and I was never concerned about my own space,” Beveridge told SEN on Tuesday.

“But if something happened there, and it was for the best or the good of the club, and that was the decision, well obviously (I was) prepared to accept it.

“But I was never concerned.

“I was absolutely confident that if the review dug deep enough, and spoke to the right people, and there was honesty in the conversations, that it wasn’t going to be too difficult to identify the one or two things that we needed.”

With AAP

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