AFL Hawks have no issue with fiery Sicily

Hawthorn vice-captain Isaac Smith has no problem with fiery AFL teammate James Sicily’s combative approach to the game.

Sicily didn’t cope well when he was targeted by Carlton forward Jed Lamb in the Blues’ upset win on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old can expect more close attention in the future after he gave away seven free kicks, but Smith doesn’t see the need to counsel his teammate to change his game.

“You have little chats to him here and there (but) everyone gets emotional on the field,” Smith said.

“Everyone matures at different times and at different rates.

“Sis knows he plays his best footy when he’s on the edge … sometimes that tips over a little bit.

“Personally I love playing with him … I love his passion and aggression for the game.”

Sicily was fined by the match review panel for striking Lamb, who clearly got under his skin.

The Hawks will finish off their season against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

Friday night’s clash will be premiership captain Luke Hodge’s last match, with injured defender Josh Gibson also bringing his decorated career to a close.

“If we beat the Bulldogs it stops them making the finals so we’ve got a lot to play for,” Smith said.

“We’ve got Gibbo, who won’t be playing, finishing up and Hodgey finishing up as well.

“He’s been one of the greatest Hawks of all time … it’s pretty well-documented what he’s achieved.

“Of course, we’d love to win and send him off in the right way.

“There should be a fair bit of emotion around the game, so hopefully it’s a full house.”

The game will also have added meaning for Hawks veteran Shaun Burgoyne.

The 34-year-old will play his 341st AFL match to pass Adelaide superstar Andrew McLeod and move into outright second behind indigenous games record holder, Sydney dual-Brownlow medallist, Adam Goodes (372 games).

Burgoyne has expressed his desire to play on next year and indications are he will be offered a new deal by the club.

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