Top Cat celebrates 200 games
It was a night to remember for Finley’s Tom Hawkins, when he played his 200th senior game for Geelong Cats in a 22 point win over Adelaide Crows on Friday night.
The star forward kicked two goals, both in the second quarter, in front of adoring fans and family at Simonds Stadium in Geelong.
His wife Emma, daughter Arabella and dad John were all in attendance for the big night that celebrated the career of Hawkins.
While Hawkins didn’t have a huge night on the field individually, it was more the moments before the game that stick out in his mind.
‘‘To be able to run through the banner with my daughter Arabella in my arms is just so special,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s quite a historic moment personally to play my 200th so to be able to share it with my family makes it all the better.
‘‘I’d always dreamed of reaching 200 games due to the number of blokes whose names are up on the board above my locker.’’
It’s been a fantastic career for the no. 26 so far, collecting the ultimate prize of a premiership medal in both 2009 and 2011.
Tom Hawkins talks to sports journalist Jamie Lowe about reaching the 200 game milestone, life after footy, and his AFL career - page 6.
Individually, Hawkins has had an impressive run being Geelong’s leading goalkicker from 2012 to 2016, winning the Geelong best and fairest Carji Greeves Medal in 2012, as well as being named at full forward in the 2012 AFL All-Australian team.
He has kicked 417 goals, the seventh most for the Cats and with a few more seasons under his belt is expected to climb the leading goalkickers’ tally to third, with former teammate Steve Johnson in third place with 452.
By reaching 200 games, Hawkins has joined a prestigious group.
‘‘In my first week at the club one of the first things I saw was the 200 game honour board,’’ he said.
‘‘It was sitting above my locker and I just thought to myself that it would be amazing to have my name up there one day.
‘‘Names like Barry Stoneham, Paul Couch and Gary Ablett Snr were up there and these were the blokes I loved and admired when I was a kid.
‘‘During my time as a player other blokes like Matty Scarlett, Corey Enright and Cameron Ling made their way onto the board.
‘‘Now my name is going to get up there, which is pretty humbling.’’
Hawkins is currently enjoying a week’s break with Emma and Arabella with the Cats having a bye. He’ll also get another week away from playing due to a controversial suspension following a ‘jumper punch’ in the game against Adelaide.
Finley’s Tom Hawkins is chaired from the field by close mates Joel Selwood and Harry Taylor after his 200th game on Friday night. Photo courtesy Michael Willson/AFL Media.
Tom Hawkins gives daughter Arabella a kiss before his milestone match. Photo courtesy Michael Willson/AFL Media.