Get to know new recruit Isaac Smith with these five facts you may not have known.
- It’s rare for a Hawk to become a Cat
The Cats and Hawks rivalry goes back decades. It’s one built on mutual respect but also a little bit of “anyone but them”. The rivalry has gone to a new level in the last decade and a bit and during that time the clubs haven’t traded with each other. There has been one Cat who became a Hawk during this time in Jonathan Simpkin who was picked up by the Hawks as a delisted free agent. But to find a Hawk who became a Cat you have to go back to 2003 when the Cats received Hawks ruckman David Loats in a three-way swap that saw David Clarke head to Carlton. Prior to that you have to go back to 1996 when the Cats swapped Aaron Lord with the Hawks for Tim Hargreaves. So Isaac the former Hawk who became a Cat is a very rare breed.
- The premiership factory
Unbelievably, Smith becomes the 11th triple VFL/AFL premiership player from the Hawks to change clubs. In past seasons, his three-time premiership winning teammates including Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge, Grant Birchall, Brad Hill and Jordan Lewis have all changed clubs. The Cats have had only three triple premiership players move on to other clubs with James Kelly and Paul Chapman moving to Essendon and Steve Johnson moving to the Giants.
- Run and carry
For Cats fans unfamiliar with what Smith brings to the team there is one stat that stands out in terms of his biggest weapon. Since the running bounce stat was first recorded in 1999, Smith has accumulated the second most at Hawthorn, 261, behind another Smith, Joel, who had 306. The current Cats player with the most bounces is Mitch Duncan with 101 so Smith’s carry will be a huge bonus in 2021 and beyond.
- Getting used to home
One thing Smith hasn’t had a lot of experience with is playing AFL games at GMHBA Stadium. The round two clash between the two clubs was the first time Smith has played at the venue but despite that he still managed to have 16 disposals and be one of the Hawk’s best. The length of GMHBA Stadium will suit Smith as he looks to help transition the ball for the Cats from defence to the forwards.
- These guys know what a successful team looks like
With Smith’s acquisition, the Cats now have a quirky element to their list make up. The Cats playing list contains a member of every AFL premiership winning squad from 2011 to 2016. Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins were all members of the 2011 premiership side, Gary Rohan was a member of the Swans 2012 premiership squad, Smith was part of the Hawks back-to-back-to-back wins in 2013, 2014 and 2015 whilst Luke Dahlhaus was in the Dogs’ 2016 side. These players and their teammates will be looking to add some more Cats names to that list in 2021.