All Eyes On… #Hawk300
The 2021 Finals Series is finally here. While we generally wouldn’t focus too closely on individual accolades this time of the year, when a player the calibre of Tom Hawkins joins the 300 Club, we’ll make our own rules.
Cats’ fans of a certain vintage will remember a very young Tom being rolled out on The Footy Show not long after he’d been drafted. Historically, the father-son rule had been kind to the club, and by the look of the latest young prospect, the footy gods were smiling on Kardinia Park again. Expectations were high.
And yet, here we are many, many years later and the son of Jumping Jack Hawkins not only reached those expectations, he has smashed them.
There’s not enough space here to do his remarkable career justice, but how about this so far: 2 X AFL Premiership Player (2009-2011), Coleman Medallist (2020), Carji Greeves Medallist (2012), 3 X All-Australian (2012,2019,2020), 10 X GFC leading goalkicker, VFL Premiership Player (2007) & Rising Star nominee (2007).
And at 33, he’s playing the best footy of his career.
Go well, Tom.
All Eyes On… The Portress
Another Covid-affected season, another first-week finals matchup against the Power in Adelaide. While last year’s result didn’t go our way, the return bout in Round 13 this season was something else, and on the back of that, the Cats will arrive at the ground on Friday with plenty of confidence.
Under enormously arduous circumstances, Geelong secured one of the wins of the season despite spending the six hours lead-up to the game in the Adelaide Oval cricket nets due to South Australian Government Covid-19 protocols.
Jeremy Cameron, powered by nine pre-game instant Moccona’s took centre stage with five goals and 12 score involvements, but there’s no doubt the whole team will be steeled by the memory of taking down the Power that night in the toughest of circumstances.
While they may have spoiled INXS for everyone, and the locals behind the fence are nothing short of hostile, the Cats 4-2 record in the last six visits to The Portress says they’ll be ready whatever gets thrown their way on Friday night.
All Eyes On… Dunc-IN
In news that warmed the hearts of Cats fans wherever they were when they heard it, Chris Scott confirmed on Wednesday that Mitch Duncan is back in the side after 10 weeks on the sidelines.
While the benefits of #22 returning to the lineup a numerous, he is arguably the side’s best user of the football, and his ability to perform in big games is undeniable.
He was clearly the Cats’ best player in last year’s finals series and even picked up a vote for the Norm Smith Medal in the Grand Final.
He also loves Adelaide Oval – his 24.7 touches per game there is his best across all grounds.
Welcome back, Mitch.
All Eyes On… What Happens Next
While last week’s loss after the siren cost the club top spot on the ladder, the only thing it's really changed is the colour of the scarves on the other side of the fence on Friday.
Whatever the result, the Cats were likely to play their Qualifying Final in the City of Churches, and again, whatever the result, the boys’ will be on a plane to Perth after the game for either a week off, or to face the winner of Saturday's GWS v Sydney Elimination Final.
For what it’s worth, since 2000 just four teams have won the premiership from first place at the end of the home and away season, seven teams have won it from second, and six from third, including the last three Richmond flags.
Whatever the case, Finals are here, the Power are waiting and we can't wait to get started.