The stage is set for MFL Sports Ambassador Tom Hawkins' 200th Game
From a talented child to an influential AFL power forward, MFL Sports Ambassador Tom Hawkins reflects on his football career as his name on the No. 26 locker will join Barry Stoneham’s in silver after he logs game 200 against Adelaide at his home ground of Simonds Stadium on Friday night.
“Hawkins, 28, said he was proud to reach this milestone, there's been challenges along the way that we've had to overcome and I say we because it's not just me that should be celebrating the milestone - it's the football club, it's my friends, it's my family, my coaches at Finley football club where I first started."
“It’s interesting, when you play footy you don’t reflect too much while you’re playing,” Hawkins said.
“But I vividly remember walking in the change rooms and seeing players that had played 100 games on and around my locker in blue writing and those that had played 200 were in silver, and then those that had played 300 were in gold.
“Those that were above my locker, there was a 200-plus game board, and for some reason that stuck in my mind a bit.
“Knowing it was coming up this week, having a little bit of a chance to reflect, it’s pretty cool.
“It’s one thing that I’ve actually sat back and thought it’s a pretty good achievement in my 10 or 11 years of footy. I’m pretty proud to be playing 200 this week.”
The dual premiership player said team success over the past decade would be what he most fondly remembered.
“Sharing in team success has been my highlight. I’ve been lucky enough to play in two premierships at AFL level, I played in a premiership at VFL level as well which was pretty cool in my first year. So they’re certainly some of the highlights.”
“For me, I always think that when I finish footy I’d like to be thought of as a good teammate,” he said.
Hawkins said it wouldn’t get any bigger than playing the ladder-leading Crows at home on Friday night.
“There’s always, in any game, challenges but for us Adelaide is the best side in the comp so they throw down the biggest challenge,” he said.
“But we feel like we’ve got a blueprint that when we’re playing at our best we can beat them so that’s the challenge for us.”
'TOM HAWKINS' AFL CAREER AT A GLANCE
Born: 21 July 1988 (age 28).
Draft: Father-son selection, 41st overall, 2006 draft.
AFL Debut: Round 2, 2007 - Geelong 24.18 (162) bt Carlton 12.12 (84) at Etihad Stadium. Hawkins kicked three goals.
AFL Games: 199
Honours: Premiership player 2009, 2011, Geelong best-and-fairest winner 2012, Geelong leading goal kicker 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, All-Australian 2012, pre-season premiership 2009.
Career goals: 415 (Career high: 7 goals v Brisbane, Round 23, 2014).