Why Garlett has been grounded
Pic: Getty

Hawthorn have sent a clear message to gifted recruit Dayle Garlett to keep his off-field behaviour in check after leaving the Swan Districts product out of the club's opening pre-season match.

Garlett, 20, was a notable absentee when the premiers yesterday named a 29-man squad for tomorrow's NAB Challenge hit-out against Brisbane at Etihad Stadium that included the club's top draft pick Billy Hartung and former St Kilda ruckman Ben McEvoy.

The silky-skilled West Australian was overlooked in spite of strong performances on the training track, having kicked three goals in last week's intra-club game.

Thewest.com.au understands the Hawks have already warned Garlett about several off-field issues, with the club's lead-ership group forced to step in and speak to him.

It is believed team officials are mindful of rewarding bad behaviour, particularly given Garlett's troubled past that led to him being overlooked in the 2012 national draft despite being ranked among the three most talented youngsters in Australia.

Hawthorn waited until the end of last year before taking the gamble on Garlett, selecting the enormously talented footballer with pick No.38 after he booted 48 goals for Swans in the WAFL.

Clubs had previously passed on the goal kicker due to concerns about his lifestyle and a perceived lack of discipline.

Social media photographs posted just days out from a WAFL semifinal in 2012 showed Garlett drinking, smoking and partying at Perth nightspots.

Former Hawthorn skipper Sam Mitchell gave an insight earlier this month into the thinking surrounding Garlett.

"He's got a lot to learn," Mitchell said. "With some of his footy stuff you just think, wow. And so much of how he plays comes naturally to him.

"He will be a good player, but he has a lot to learn about professionalism, lifestyle, game plan and defensive actions."

Hawthorn have selected Matt Suckling and Alex Woodward to return from knee reconstructions. Mitchell, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli, Shaun Burgoyne and Jack Gunston were all named, but Luke Hodge and Brad Sewell have been rested.

The Hawks have just one practice match scheduled in the month between the end of the NAB Challenge and the club's season opener against Brisbane at Aurora Stadium on March 22.

Football manager Chris Fagan said it would be a "tricky business" getting the necessary game time into players. He said key personnel would have to play with VFL affiliate Box Hill to be brought up to speed.

"It's just the spread of games and the closeness to round one that could be looked at," he said.

Brisbane will blood a host of youngsters in their first NAB Challenge clash, including first-round draft pick James Aish. Jonathan Brown and Daniel Rich will sit out the game.

The West Australian

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