Tom Hawkins (footballer)

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Tom Hawkins
Tom Hawkins playing for Geelong.JPG
Personal information
Full name Thomas Jack Hawkins
Nickname(s) The Tomahawk[1]
Date of birth (1988-07-27) 27 July 1988 (age 25)
Place of birth Finley, New South Wales[2]
Original team Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup)
Draft #41 (F/S), 2006 National Draft
Height/Weight 197 cm / 106 kg
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current club Geelong
Number 26
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2007– Geelong 133 (246)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of Round 11, 2014 season.
Career highlights

Thomas Jack "Tom" Hawkins (born 27 July 1988 in Finley, New South Wales[3]) is an Australian rules footballer for the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).[2] The eldest son of former Geelong champion "Jumpin" Jack Hawkins, he was drafted by Geelong under the father-son draft rule and wears the number 26 jumper.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hawkins was born in Finley, New South Wales to Jack and Jenny Hawkins.[4] He grew up in the New South Wales region of Finley as the middle child among three other siblings. He attended Finley High School and played for the Finley Football Club before making the move south of the border to begin boarding at Melbourne Grammar School.[3] Hawkins' footballing ability was recognised early on when he was selected to play 1st XVIII football for the school whilst still in Year 10, when many of his teammates were completing their final year of schooling at Year 12.[3][2] Hawkins kicked four goals on debut for the school and his performances up forward soon received attention from AFL recruiting teams. By the time he had reached his final school year he was rewarded with joint captaincy of the football team alongside Hawthorn draftee Xavier Ellis. He was also selected in the Associated Public Schools (APS) team to play the Associated Grammar School (AGS) selected football team in the traditional annual clash of schools, where he won best on ground honours for his performance.[5]

Having gained permission to join local U/18 club the Sandringham Dragons for numerous games during the season, Hawkins impressed in his limited appearances within the elite TAC Cup competition, highlighted by a 22 disposal, 9 mark, and 5 goal effort in just his third game.[3] In 2006, he was awarded an AIS/AFL Academy Scholarship as part of the 9th intake.[6] The scholarship, awarded to outstanding young athletes entering the last year of their junior football development, saw Hawkins participate in several training camps, capped off with representation for Australia in the U/18 International Rules Series, before completing his summer training with the Geelong Football Club.

In the mid-year of 2006, Hawkins was selected to play in the 2006 Under 18's National Championships, lining up at full forward for Vic Metro. A best on ground performance which yielded 12 marks and 6 goals in the opening match against South Australia began a wave of unprecedented hype and attention, with Hawkins drawing comparisons to Brisbane Lion Jonathan Brown and leading Vic Metro coach David Dickson to declare the young forward as "the best footballer I've seen...since Chris Judd".[7] Hawkins was awarded the Larke Medal as the MVP within Division 1 and named as the tournament's All-Australian full-forward, just falling short of the all-time contested marking record held by Justin Koschitzke.[8][9]

Hawkins has established a reputation as one of the brightest young key forward prospects in the game, where his man-boy physique and unusual combination of size, strength, and footballing ability have impressed many.[10][11] Former Carlton coach Dennis Pagan was famously moved to compare him to legendary Swans full-forward Tony Lockett after his debut game.[12]

AFL career[edit]

Hawkins was officially selected by Geelong in the 2006 AFL Draft under the father-son rule. Whilst many pundits lauded him as the best key position prospect within the draft, and felt Hawkins' junior performances warranted possible selection with the top overall pick, the father-son rules at the time only required the Cats to use a middle-tier 3rd round pick to draft him.[5] The subsequent controversy over what was widely acknowledged as a bargain gain for the Cats led to the AFL amending the father-son ruling for future use.[13]

With a reputation as one of the finest young tall forwards in the land, Hawkins was immediately billed as the successor to the legendary Gary Ablett, whose retirement 10 years earlier had left a gaping hole in the Cats' forward line.[5][14] A stress reaction injury to his right leg, however, halted Hawkins' pre-season, forcing his much-awaited debut in Geelong colours to take place in the VFL side.[15][16]

Hawkins made his highly anticipated debut for the Geelong seniors in Round 2 of the 2007 season against Carlton.[17] Opposed to Carlton Captain Lance Whitnall, Hawkins impressed with 3 goals and several strong marks in the Cats' 78 point victory, prompting Carlton coach Denis Pagan to label him the next Tony Lockett.[12] Other revered media figures, such as Gerard Healy and David Parkin, were moved enough to describe the debut as the best first-up performance in recent memory.[18] Uncommonly for AFL debutants, he followed up with an even more impressive performance in his second game, kicking 4 first half goals to help set up a victory against Melbourne at the MCG, earning the AFL Rising Star nomination for Round 3 in the process.[19]

Question marks, however, were raised over his fitness and ability to run out entire games, and after 9 games in his debut season, which saw him boot 12 goals, Hawkins saw out the rest of the year with the clubs' VFL side.[12] There, Hawkins helped the Cats' reach the VFL Grand Final for the second successive year, booting 3 goals as the Cats defeated the Coburg Tigers to claim their first VFL Premiership since 2002.[12]

Hawkins kicks for goal.

Hawkins participated in the 2009 AFL Grand Final alongside other father/son selections Gary Ablett, Matthew Scarlett and Mark Blake. Hawkins scored 2 goals in the game to help Geelong defeat St Kilda by 12 points and capture the 2009 AFL premiership. (One of those goals was notably controversial, as it was ruled as such after it had bounced off a goal post; under the rules of Australian football, such a kick should have been ruled a behind.)

Hawkins played in the 2011 AFL Grand Final, finishing the day with 19 disposals, 9 marks and three goals to win his second premiership medallion. Hawkins played a prominent role in Geelong's victory and was awarded five votes for the Norm Smith Medal, coming third behind Jimmy Bartel (13 votes) and Joel Selwood (9 votes).

In 2012, Hawkins had a break out year, kicking 62 goals to finish equal second in the Coleman Medal, and became perhaps Geelong's most valuable player. Undoubtedly the highlight of his year was a match in Round 19 when he kicked a goal after the siren (one of six for the night) to deliver the Cats a memorable two-point win over their rivals, Hawthorn. The win was Geelong's ninth straight victory over the Hawks since losing to them in the 2008 AFL Grand Final. His emergence was rewarded with selection in the 2012 All-Australian side, and the 2012 Carji Greeves Medal for being Geelong's "best and fairest" player over the 2012 season.

In 2013, a back injury hampered Hawkins' start to the year, forcing him to miss one match and limiting his usually dominant form in others. However, he still managed to regularly kick goals, accumulating 15 by the end of Round 7.

Statistics[edit]

Statistics are correct to end of 2012 season[20][21]
Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
2007 Geelong 26 9 12 10 52 25 77 33 9 1.3 1.1 5.8 2.8 8.6 3.7 1.0
2008 Geelong 26 10 13 5 71 48 119 51 15 1.3 0.5 7.1 4.8 11.9 5.1 1.5
2009 Geelong 26 24 34 17 148 130 278 131 56 1.4 0.7 6.2 5.4 11.6 5.5 2.3
2010 Geelong 26 18 21 13 95 131 226 102 47 1.2 0.7 5.3 7.3 12.6 5.7 2.6
2011 Geelong 26 18 27 17 125 98 223 88 38 1.5 0.9 6.9 5.4 12.4 4.9 2.1
2012 Geelong 26 22 62 38 198 80 278 144 25 2.8 1.7 9.0 3.6 12.6 6.6 1.1
Career 101 169 100 689 512 1201 549 190 1.7 1.0 6.8 5.1 11.9 5.4 1.9
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles

Personal life[edit]

Family links[edit]

As well as his father, Hawkins' uncles, Michael Hawkins and Robb Hawkins, and his maternal grandfather, Fred Le Deux, all played football for Geelong.[22]

Nickname[edit]

Hawkins' famous nickname 'Tomahawk', is a play on his first name and surname, with references to a tomahawk axe or tomahawk missile, and has proven a popular calling card within the league.[1][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robinson, M, "Cat's close the lid on kids" heraldsun.com.au, 11 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  2. ^ a b c d Zell, Alison; "NSW/ACT player of the week: Tom Hawkins", accessed 18 August 2013
  3. ^ a b c d Ralph, J, "Cats' recruit Hawkins ignores hype", heraldsun.com.au, 8 February 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  4. ^ Epstein, Jackie (16 April 2006). "Cats to jump on Tom Hawkins". Sunday Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 4 August 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c Niall, Jake (26 June 2006). "Another gun of a son to follow Scarlett and Ablett". realfooty.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Quayle, E, "Horsing around at the races" realfooty.com.au, 10 January 2006, accessed 5 October 2007
  7. ^ Ralph, Jon (6 August 2006). "Cats' 'new' Judd"". Sunday Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 6 August 2006. 
  8. ^ Harris, R, "Rising stars top honour" Border Mail, 3 July 2006, accessed 5 October 2007
  9. ^ "The Super Draft". realfooty.com.au. 1 July 2006. Archived from the original on 13 July 2006. 
  10. ^ Brereton, D, "Give Tom Hawkins a chance" heraldsun.com.au, 18 August 2006, accessed 4 October 2007
  11. ^ Johnson, L, "Cats licking their lips on Hawkins" realfooty.com.au, 4 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  12. ^ a b c d Green, B, "Tomahawk's had a year to remember at Geelong" geelongadvertiser.com.au, 2 October 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  13. ^ Gleeson, Martin (5 July 2006). "AFL to consider changes to father-son rule". realfooty.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Heinrich, Scott. "Rising Cat: Tom Hawkins". foxsports.com.au. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. 
  15. ^ Jensen, B, "Tom Hawkins on the mend following stress fracture" geelong.keldar.net, 24 January 2007, accessed 4 October 2007
  16. ^ Rebecca Williams (2007-01-23). "Tom Hawkins suffers setback". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  17. ^ Sheahan, M, "Geelong names Tom Hawkins" heraldsun.com.au, 6 April 2007, accessed 4 October 2007
  18. ^ Robinson, M, "Hawkins lives up to hype", heraldsun.com.au, 9 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  19. ^ "AFL recognises rising Hawkins" abc.net.au, 17 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  20. ^ "Tom Hawkins statistics". AFL Tables. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  21. ^ "Tom Hawkins of the Geelong Cats Career AFL Stats". footywire.com. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Anderson, J, "Young cat has right pedigree" heraldsun.com.au, 19 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  23. ^ "Tomahawk slays Dees". Yahoo! Sports. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Marc Murphy
Larke Medal
MVP of National Championships

2006
Succeeded by
Cale Morton
Preceded by
Brett Deledio
AFL Army Award
2009
Defunct award