Tom closes in on 250
Tom Hawkins says at his age it’s about getting through week by week and milestones will come naturally.
The AFL star and former Finley resident recently kicked his 500th career goal and if he can avoid injury play his 250th game later this year.
Since his debut with Geelong in 2007, the key forward has played 234 games. The earliest he could play his 250th is round 19 against the Sydney Swans at the SCG.
Hawkins however said as he gets older he just needs to stay healthy rather than focus of milestones.
‘‘When you get to 30 in AFL football and add in the wear and tear of pre-season, I suppose playing 250 games becomes a product of staying fit and healthy.
‘‘You literally have to take it week by week and I’m still a long way from playing 250; nearly 20 games is quite a lot of football.
‘‘When I was younger I was excited to play 50 games or 100 games and as you get older the focus has to be on football and not thinking in the back of my mind about racking games up.’’
The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for Hawkins where he and his wife Emma welcomed their second daughter Primrose Grace.
Just before round one, Hawkins rolled his ankle and was in doubt for the match, however the Cats forward pulled through and kicked the match winning goal against Collingwood, reaching his 500 goal milestone in the process.
‘‘Everything is going really well; it’s nice to be back home.
‘‘It was a pretty tough lead up to round one to have a baby then roll an ankle.
‘‘Emma’s parents have come down from Deni for the past two weeks and have been fantastic.’’
Because Hawkins plays with Geelong, he and his family have the advantage of being closer to the rural scene compared to most players across the AFL, as other teams are based in or close to capital cities.
The family live on a small farm about 20 minutes west of Geelong with a small head of Angus cows.
Hawkins said although football is his main focus, the farm does provide an extra side hobby for him.
‘‘The farming is going pretty well but we could do with a bit more rain.
‘‘Since the start of the year we’ve only had 16mm and it’s already April. It hasn’t been super hot but it’s still dry.
‘‘I see farming as a nice release from the courtesy AAP/Julian Smith.
hectic season. I used to own sheep for a short time but when you’re a hobby farmer and playing AFL it becomes too difficult.’’
Prior to moving, Hawkins was living in the centre of Geelong for the first 12 years of his career.
He said it’s always handy to have his dad John down from Finley to help out where he can.
‘‘The last time I was properly working on the farm I was 15 so you can forget some things.
‘‘I’ve called dad in the past to ask him a couple of questions. He’s come to the farm and helped with things like fencing.’’
When the SOUTHERN RIVERINA NEWS asked Hawkins who will win the flag if Geelong don’t win it, he was unable to narrow it down to one team
‘‘It’s really hard to say who will win the flag this year,’’ he said.
‘‘West Coast played really well at the back end of the season last year. I think RichPhoto mond are still the side to beat and Collingwood play well at the MCG.
‘‘But also look at sides who played well but not at their best last year like Brisbane and Port Adelaide.
‘‘There are about 13 teams who are all a strong chance for the top eight.
‘‘No game is an easy win this year. Teams like St Kilda and Gold Coast might be going through a rebuild but you still need to be playing good footy to beat them.
‘‘One prediction I can make, if we don’t make the final then I’ll be supporting the Finley Cats.’’
Geelong have started the season 2-0 after a comfortable 80 point thrashing of a lacklustre Melbourne side on Saturday night at Kardinia Park.
Hawkins booted two goals for the game and racked up 16 disposals.
Tomorrow night the Cats travel to Adelaide to play the 2017 grand finalist Crows. Presented as a community service by Southern Riverina Suicide Prevention Resource Group and the Southern Riverina News
Tom Hawkins evade a tackle from Melbourne’s Max Gawn on Saturday night.