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Tom Hawkins (footballer)

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For the South Melbourne footballer, see Tom Hawkins (footballer, born 1885).
Tom Hawkins
Tom Hawkins playing for Geelong.JPG
Hawkins playing for Geelong.
Personal information
Full name Thomas Jack Hawkins
Nickname(s) The Tomahawk[1]
Date of birth (1988-07-21) 21 July 1988 (age 28)
Place of birth Finley, New South Wales[2]
Original team(s) Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup)
Draft No. 41 (F/S), 2006 national draft
Height / weight 197 cm / 105 kg
Position(s) Full-forward
Club information
Current club Geelong
Number 26
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2007– Geelong 189 (387)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Thomas Jack Hawkins (born 21 July 1988) is an Australian rules footballer playing for the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). A forward, 1.97 metres (6.5 ft) tall and weighing 105 kilograms (231 lb), Hawkins has the ability to play as either a centre half-forward or a full-forward. He grew up in New South Wales before moving to Melbourne to attend Melbourne Grammar School, where his football abilities earned him a spot in the first XVIII in year ten. He played top-level football with the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup and Vic Metro in the AFL Under 18 Championships. His accolades as a junior include national and state representation, the Larke Medal as the AFL Under 18 Championships most valuable player, and All-Australian selection.

As the eldest son of former Geelong champion Jack Hawkins, Hawkins was drafted by Geelong under the father-son draft rule with the forty-first selection in the 2006 AFL draft. He made his AFL debut in 2007, which saw former Carlton coach, Dennis Pagan compare him to the highest goal scorer in the history of the league and former full-forward, Tony Lockett, after his debut game. His debut season saw him earn an AFL Rising Star nomination and he was part of Geelong's Victorian Football League (VFL) premiership side. He has since become a two-time AFL premiership player, an All-Australian full forward, a Carji Greeves Medallist as the club best and fairest player, a five-time leading goalkicker for Geelong, and a recipient of the AFL Army Award—awarded to a player who produces significant acts of bravery or selflessness during a season.

Early life[edit]

Hawkins was born in Finley, New South Wales to Jack and Jenny Hawkins.[3] 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.[4] Hawkins' footballing ability was recognised early on when he was selected to play first XVIII football for the school whilst still in year ten, when many of his teammates were completing their final year of schooling at year twelve.[4][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 under 18 club in 2006, the Sandringham Dragons for numerous games during the season, Hawkins impressed in his limited appearances within the elite TAC Cup competition, highlighted by a twenty-two disposal, nine mark, and five goal effort in just his third game.[4] In the same year, he was awarded an AIS/AFL academy scholarship as part of the ninth 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 under 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 AFL Under 18 Championships, lining up at full forward for Vic Metro. A best on ground performance which yielded twelve marks and six goals in the opening match against South Australia began a wave of unprecedented hype and attention, with Hawkins drawing comparisons to former Brisbane Lions forward, 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 most valuable player within division one 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]

AFL career[edit]

2007–2011: early career[edit]

Hawkins was officially selected by Geelong in the 2006 national 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 Geelong to use a middle-tier third 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.[10] 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 ten years earlier had left a gaping hole in Geelongs forward line.[5][11] 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 Victorian Football League (VFL) side.[12][13]

Hawkins made his highly anticipated debut for the Geelong seniors in round two of the 2007 season against Carlton.[14] Opposed to Carlton captain Lance Whitnall, Hawkins impressed with three goals and several strong marks in Geelong's seventy-eight point victory, prompting then-Carlton coach, Denis Pagan to label him the next Tony Lockett.[15] 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.[16] Uncommonly for AFL debutants, he followed up with an even more impressive performance in his second game, kicking four first half goals to help set up a victory against Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), earning the AFL Rising Star nomination for round three in the process.[17] Question marks, however, were raised over his fitness and ability to run out entire games, and after nine games in his debut season, which saw him kick twelve goals, Hawkins saw out the rest of the year with the clubs' VFL side.[15] There, Hawkins helped Geelong reach the VFL Grand Final for the second successive year, booting three goals as the Cats defeated the Coburg Tigers to claim their first VFL premiership since 2002.[15]

Hawkins kicks for goal.

Despite inconsistencies in Hawkin's form,[18] he played twenty-four matches for the 2009 season including the grand final, where he played alongside other father-son selections, Gary Ablett, Matthew Scarlett and Mark Blake. He scored two goals in the game to help Geelong defeat St Kilda by twelve points, winning the 2009 AFL premiership.[19] One of his goals was notably controversial, as it was later ruled it had hit the goal post, which should have been registered as a behind; this was one of the reasons behind the introduction of the goal review system implemented by the AFL during the 2012 season.[20]

A mid-year footy injury saw Hawkins miss seven weeks of football in 2010,[21] and he finished the season with eighteen matches and twenty-one goals. He did, however, play in Geelong's final series; a narrow loss to St Kilda in the qualifying final hampered Geelong's chances of retaining the premiership[22] and a forty-one point loss to eventual premiers, Collingwood, in the preliminary final ended Geelong and Hawkins' season.[23]

Hawkins faced scrutiny during the 2011 season for his inconsistent form[24][25] which saw him dropped from the senior side in the middle of the season.[26] He was highly praised during Geelong's finals series in which Herald Sun journalist, Scott Gullan labelled the qualifying win against Hawthorn the best match of Hawkins' career at the time.[27] He bettered that performance two weeks later in the 2011 AFL Grand Final, where he finished the day with nineteen disposals, nine marks and three goals to win his second premiership medallion.[28] An injury to fellow forward, James Podsiadly in the second quarter meant Hawkins was the main target in the forward line where he kicked three goals in the third quarter and he was labelled as the unlikely hero by Fox Sports Australia journalist, Mike Hedge.[29] His performance saw him awarded five votes for the Norm Smith Medal, coming third behind Jimmy Bartel with thirteen votes and Joel Selwood with nine votes.[30] It was later revealed in the book, Greatness, Inside Geelong's Path to Premiership History, he was nearly dropped for the final series for retiring forward, Cameron Mooney.[31]

2012–present: Geelong leading goalkicker[edit]

In 2012, Hawkins had a break out year, kicking sixty-two goals to finish equal second in the Coleman Medal.[32] In the round 19 match against Hawthorn, he kicked six goals including a goal after the siren to deliver Geelong a two point victory.[33] The win was Geelong's ninth consecutive victory over the Hawks since losing to them in the 2008 AFL Grand Final.[34] After every season he participated in finished in at least making the preliminary final, Geelong exited the final series in the first week after the sixteen point loss to Fremantle at the MCG.[35] His emergence was rewarded with selection in the 2012 All-Australian team,[36] the Carji Greeves Medal as the club best and fairest player and he was Geelong's leading goalkicker.[37]

After Hawkins' emergence in 2012, a bulging disc in his back impacted his abilities during the 2013 season;[38] struggling with form throughout the season, he received bronx cheers from Geelong supporters in the round 20 match against Port Adelaide at Simonds Stadium after he managed only six disposals and a goal.[39] The persistent back injury forced him to miss the start of the finals series by missing the qualifying final match against Fremantle at Simonds Stadium.[40] He played in the next two finals matches, including the five point loss against Hawthorn in the preliminary final which ended Geelong's season.[41] Despite the back injury, he managed to play twenty-two matches for the season kicking forty-nine goals and he was Geelong's leading goalkicker for the second consecutive year.[42][43]

Described as returning to being a "genuine match winner" during the 2014 season by teammate, Tom Lonergan, Hawkins overcame his back injury to replicate his form from the 2012 season.[44] He kicked sixty-eight goals for the season including a career-high seven goals against the Brisbane Lions in round 23.[45] He had strong performances against Hawthorn, kicking five goals and North Melbourne, kicking four goals in rounds five and ten respectively;[46][47] his performance against Hawthorn earned him the maximum three Brownlow votes making him the best player on the ground adjudged by the field umpires.[48] During the qualifying final match against Hawthorn, he was scrutinised for a jumper punch against Ben Stratton, which was pondered whether Hawkins would face a suspension;[49] he was ultimately cleared of the incident, which allowed him to play in the semi-final loss against North Melbourne.[50] His season was rewarded with selection in the initial forty man All-Australian squad, although he missed out on the final team.[51] In addition, he finished second in the best and fairest count behind Joel Selwood, he finished second in the Coleman Medal[52] and he was Geelong's leading goalkicker for the third consecutive season.[43]

Personal tragedy hit Hawkins early in the 2015 season when his mother, Jenny, died in April.[53] He subsequently missed the round three match against Gold Coast before returning the next week against North Melbourne[54] in which he paid tribute to his mother after his only goal in the match;[55] in addition, the game saw him reach his 150th AFL match milestone.[56] He missed only one match for the remainder of the season, the round seven match against Sydney.[57] Since joining Geelong, it was the first season the club missed the finals series,[58] and he ultimately played nineteen games for the season and kicked forty-six goals, making him Geelong's leading goalkicker for the fourth consecutive season.[43] Entering the season, he remained unsigned, meaning he would become a free agent if he remained out of contract at the end of the season.[59] He ultimately ignored the lure of free agency, and he signed a five-year contract in July, tying him to the club until the end of the 2020 season.[60]

The first half of the 2016 season saw Hawkins play inconsistently due to his form wavering, with Geelong coach, Chris Scott noting Hawkins' "impact isn't what he'd like it to be and hasn't been for some time";[61] despite his inconsistency, Scott reassured fans that he believed Hawkins' best was still ahead of him.[62] It was revealed at the end of the season, that he had played with a small tear in his meniscus, which resulted in post-season surgery.[63] He missed one match for the season after he was suspended for striking Greater Western Sydney captain, Phil Davis, in round 11.[64] The decision by the match review panel was criticised by the Herald Sun chief of football writer, Mark Robinson, where he labelled the decision "a joke",[65] and the backlash forced match review panel member, Nathan Burke to publicly defend the decision.[66] Geelong returned to the final series in 2016, making it to the preliminary final and losing to Sydney by thirty-seven points at the MCG.[67] He finished with twenty-three matches for the season, kicking fifty-five goals and he was Geelong's leading goalkicker for the fifth consecutive season.[43]

Statistics[edit]

Statistics are correct to the end of the 2016 season[48]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
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 8.6 2.8 3.7 1.0
2008 Geelong 26 10 13 5 71 48 119 51 15 1.3 0.5 7.1 11.9 4.8 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 6.5 1.1
2013 Geelong 26 23 49 20 141 74 215 93 22 2.2 0.4 6.4 3.4 9.8 4.2 1.0
2014 Geelong 26 24 68 40 222 75 297 161 32 2.8 1.7 9.3 3.1 12.4 6.7 1.3
2015 Geelong 26 19 46 20 145 51 196 93 31 2.4 1.1 7.6 2.7 10.3 4.9 1.6
2016 Geelong 26 23 55 31 198 90 288 126 39 2.4 1.3 8.6 3.9 12.5 5.5 1.7
Career 189 387 211 1395 802 2197 1022 348 2.1 1.1 7.4 4.2 11.6 5.4 1.8

Personal life[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.[68]

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][69]

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 Zell, Alison; "NSW/ACT player of the week: Tom Hawkins", accessed 18 August 2013
  3. ^ Epstein, Jackie (16 April 2006). "Cats to jump on Tom Hawkins". Sunday Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 4 August 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c Ralph, Jon (8 February 2007). "Cats recruit Hawkins ignores hype". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 5 October 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. ^ Gleeson, Martin (5 July 2006). "AFL to consider changes to father-son rule". realfooty.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Heinrich, Scott. "Rising Cat: Tom Hawkins". foxsports.com.au. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. 
  12. ^ Jensen, B, "Tom Hawkins on the mend following stress fracture" geelong.keldar.net, 24 January 2007, accessed 4 October 2007
  13. ^ Rebecca Williams (2007-01-23). "Tom Hawkins suffers setback". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  14. ^ Sheahan, M, "Geelong names Tom Hawkins" heraldsun.com.au, 6 April 2007, accessed 4 October 2007
  15. ^ a b c Green, B, "Tomahawk's had a year to remember at Geelong" geelongadvertiser.com.au, 2 October 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
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  17. ^ "AFL recognises rising Hawkins" abc.net.au, 17 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
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  19. ^ Paine, Chris (26 September 2009). "Cats crowned 2009 AFL premiers". ABC Online. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  20. ^ Connolly, Rohan (27 April 2012). "Grand final bloopers left AFL no choice". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
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  30. ^ Anderson, Jon (1 October 2011). "Jimmy Bartel wins Norm Smith Medal". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
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  32. ^ "Jack Riewoldt claims the 2012 Coleman medal". news.com.au. News Corp Australia. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
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  34. ^ "Cats stun Hawks to win after the siren". ABC Online. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  35. ^ Lienert, Sam (8 September 2012). "Second-half Geelong comeback not enough after Fremantle's stunning start in AFL elimination final". Fox Sports Australia. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  36. ^ "2012 All Australian team". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  37. ^ Hayes, Mark (5 October 2012). "All Australian forward Tom Hawkins wins his first Carji Greeves Medal as Geelong's best-and-fairest". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  38. ^ Phelan, Jennifer (20 August 2013). "Hawkins' back issue a permanent problem, says Doc Larkins". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  39. ^ McNicol, Adam (10 August 2013). "Cats' fans Bronx cheers for Hawkins embarrassing, says Chris Scott". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  40. ^ Williams, Rebecca (8 September 2013). "Geelong forward Tom Hawkins faces a nervous week after missing the qualifying final". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  41. ^ Sewell, Eliza (16 September 2013). "Geelong forward Tom Hawkins confident he will be fit to play in cut-throat final". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
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  43. ^ a b c d "Geelong Goalkicking Records". AFL Tables. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  44. ^ Ryan, Peter (7 June 2014). "Hawkins back to game-winning form, says Lonergan". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  45. ^ "Mitch Brown and Josh Walker impress in Geelong's win over Brisbane, fighting for second forward spot". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  46. ^ Baum, Greg (21 April 2014). "Tom Hawkins stars as Cats beat Hawks". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  47. ^ "Geelong Cats beat North Melbourne Kangaroos by 20, Tom Hawkins kicks four goals". The Age. Fairfax Media. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  48. ^ a b "Tom Hawkins". AFL Tables. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  49. ^ King, Travis (7 September 2014). "Does Boomer hold the key? Four burning questions ahead of the 2014 semi-finals". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  50. ^ McNicol, Adam (8 September 2014). "Star Cat Tom Hawkins cleared of jumper-punch on Hawk Ben Stratton". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  51. ^ Schmook, Nathan; McNicol, Adam (2 September 2014). "Fresh faces aplenty as AFL names 40-man All Australian squad". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  52. ^ "Joel Selwood wins third Geelong Best and Fairest, Tom Hawkins second and Mitch Duncan third". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  53. ^ "'Her life was intrinsically linked with this club': Cats mourn the death of Tom Hawkins' mother". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  54. ^ Pierik, Jon (25 April 2015). "Tom Hawkins to return against Kangaroos". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  55. ^ Waterworth, Ben (26 April 2015). "Tom Hawkins' tribute to mother Jennie in Geelong's clash with North Melbourne at Simonds Stadium". Fox Sports Australia. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  56. ^ Auciello, Michael (17 April 2015). "Tom Hawkins' journey to 150 games has been far from smooth". Geelong Advertiser. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  57. ^ Murnane, Matt; Gleeson, Michael (19 May 2015). "Three big Geelong names could return for Carlton clash". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  58. ^ Rucci, Michelangelo (28 August 2015). "Crows assured of AFL finals berth after Collingwood eliminates Geelong from race". The Advertiser. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  59. ^ Anderson, Jon; McFarlane, Glenn; Ralph, Jon (4 April 2015). "Tom Hawkins set to command $4 million for five years in next contract". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
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  61. ^ "Geelong coach Chris Scott talks up down-on-form Cats Tom Hawkins and Steven Motlop". The Age. Fairfax Media. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  62. ^ Chadwick, Justin (3 May 2016). "AFL: Tom Hawkins' best yet to come, says Cats coach Chris Scott". Geelong Advertiser. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  63. ^ "Geelong Cats: Tom Hawkins undergoes minor knee surgery". Geelong Advertiser. News Corp Australia. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  64. ^ Schmook, Nathan (6 June 2016). "MRP: Tom Hawkins facing ban, Tom Lynch free to play". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  65. ^ Robinson, Mark (6 June 2016). "Tom Hawkins ban for 'tap' is a joke, writes Mark Robinson". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  66. ^ Morris, Tom (7 June 2016). "Match Review Panel member Nathan Burke defends decision to suspend Tom Hawkins for striking". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  67. ^ Schmook, Nathan (23 September 2016). "Match report: Swans trounce Cats to storm into Grand Final". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  68. ^ Anderson, J, "Young cat has right pedigree" heraldsun.com.au, 19 April 2007, accessed 5 October 2007
  69. ^ "Tomahawk slays Dees". Yahoo! Sports. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. 

External links[edit]