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Column: Milestone Men

Tom Hawkins of the Cats in action during the 2015 AFL Round 01 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Melbourne on April 06, 2015. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Tom Hawkins in action in round one

When Geelong needs him most, Tom Hawkins is a match-winner.
I’ll never forget his heroic performance in the 2011 Grand Final, when he ripped the game away from Collingwood, kicking three crucial goals to propel the Cats to their third flag in five years. Or round 19, 2012, against Hawthorn, when Hawkins extended the Kennett curse to nine straight games, burying the Hawks on the siren from outside fifty.
On Sunday the 26-year-old will lead the Cats onto Simonds Stadium against the Suns in his 150th game. And if Geelong has ever needed an inspiring performance from the 'Tomahawk', it’s this weekend.

Languishing last on the ladder after their worst start to the season in twelve years, the Cats form has been shocking. But the same can’t be said for Hawkins. Starting 2015 with four goals in two games, the key forward is on par with his impressive career average.
I can still remember when Hawkins burst onto the scene in 2007, booting three-goals on debut against Carlton with some experts comparing him to the great Tony Lockett. As the eldest son of Cats legend 'Jumping Jack', Hawkins has lived up to the hype, kicking 290 goals in his 149 games to stamp himself as Geelong’s best forward since Gary Ablett Senior.
Managing chronic back injuries, Hawkins has played his best football under the guidance of Coach Chris Scott, adding All Australian honours, a Carji Greeves medal and a second premiership medallion to his trophy cabinet, which is why it’s fitting Hawkins will share his 150th milestone with Scott’s 100th game as Cats Coach.
Scott took over the reigns from Mark Thompson in 2011, delivering a premiership in his first year as a senior coach. Since then he boasts the best win-loss ratio of any current established coach in the league winning 73 of his 99 games.
And new recruit Mitch Clark will be out to celebrate his first win as a Cat in his 100th AFL game. The 27 year-old former Brisbane, Melbourne and now Geelong forward has kicked 102 goals in his 99 games.
So make sure you get down to Simonds Stadium on Sunday afternoon to celebrate three of our favourite Cats and hopefully get the season back on track with a win.
Sean Sowerby
Channel 7 News Weekend Sports Presenter/Geelong FC Member 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs