Tom Hawkins (footballer)
Hawkins playing for Geelong
|Full name||Thomas Jack Hawkins|
|Date of birth||21 July 1988|
|Place of birth||Finley, New South Wales|
|Original team(s)||Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 41 (F/S), 2006 National Draft|
|Height / weight||197 cm / 105 kg|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
Thomas Jack Hawkins (born 21 July 1988) is an Australian rules footballer for the Geelong Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). The eldest son of former Geelong champion Jack Hawkins, he was drafted by Geelong under the father-son draft rule and wears the number 26 jumper. He plays as a center half-forward or a full-forward.
Hawkins was born in Finley, New South Wales to Jack and Jenny Hawkins. 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. 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. 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.
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. In 2006, he was awarded an AIS/AFL Academy Scholarship as part of the 9th intake. 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". 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.
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. Former Carlton coach Dennis Pagan was famously moved to compare him to legendary Swans full-forward Tony Lockett after his debut game.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Hawkins made his highly anticipated debut for the Geelong seniors in Round 2 of the 2007 season against Carlton. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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 are correct to the end of the 2015 season
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
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- "Tomahawk slays Dees". Yahoo! Sports. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007.