Hawthorn selected Litherland with pick 55 in the 2010 AFL Draft. He was drafted as a tall defender from Claremont, and represented Western Australia at the 2010 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. A foot injury finished his 2011 season whilst developing at Hawthorn's affiliate club Box Hill. He spent 2013 developing in the VFL playing for Hawthorn's affiliate side Box Hill and was a member of their premiership winning side. Litherland made his AFL debut against Essendon after the late withdrawal of Sam Mitchell.