An older and wiser Tom Hawkins is looking to play a leading role in Geelong’s finals campaign after tasting premiership success as a youngster in a seasoned AFL team.
Hawkins was 21-years-old when he was part of the Cats’ 2009 grand final-winning side and 23 when Geelong defeated Collingwood in the 2011 grand final.
He had veterans like Steve Johnson, James Kelly, Cameron Ling, Paul Chapman and Matthew Scarlett to look up to then and he hopes he might be able to provide a similar example to current Cats’ youngsters over the next month.
“I was fortunate to arrive at the footy club when I did,” Hawkins said.
“I won premierships with a group of guys who were at a great age to win flags – from 25 to 30 – and I came in and rode their success more than anything.
“Now as a senior player at 28 I would love nothing more than to be a part of a successful side again … it’s something that drives me pretty strongly.
“I know it’s the same with a few others.”
Hawkins has hit form at the right time of the season, having kicked six goals in the round 23 demolition of Melbourne.
The Cats take on old rivals Hawthorn in a mouthwatering qualifying final next Friday night and Hawkins said the triple-premiers are the team to beat.
“Everyone wants to knock them off,” he said.
“I can’t see anything but them being the hunted. We all know how good Hawthorn is.
“We embrace what we’ve got in front of us and try and do what we do well. (But) we know our best is good enough.”