Geelong coach Chris Scott predicts the best is yet to come for Tom Hawkins, saying the star AFL forward’s back issues are now a thing of the past.
Hawkins has been in strong form this season, booting 14.9 over the opening six rounds to help power Geelong to a 5-1 start to the season.
The 27-year-old had been hampered by back issues in recent seasons, most notably in 2013 when his form plummeted so much that Cats fans started jeering him.
Hawkins has steadily improved since then, and he has hit the ground running in 2016 after dropping 4kg during the pre-season.
Scott is excited about what the future holds for his key spearhead, who has booted 346 goals from 172 games.
“He has been limited with his back at times in the last couple of years,” Scott told Perth radio station 6PR.
“But talking to him and our medical staff, that’s a thing of the past. Hopefully we’ll see Tom play better than he has for his whole career.”
Hawkins tallied 24 disposals, 11 marks, and 4.2 in last week’s 120-point demolition of Gold Coast.
Geelong will be aiming to continue their hot form when they take on West Coast at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.
Although Eagles duo Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett are likely to have a clear edge over Nathan Vardy and Zac Smith in the ruck, Scott said it’s not an area Geelong will give up on completely.
“Not many teams are going to go into games against West Coast saying we’re going to dominate in the hit-outs,” Scott said.
“You have to plan a little bit for what Naitanui’s going to do. But I don’t think our guys are going to be a pushover.”