AFL news 2023: Tom Hawkins wife Emma insists Geelong Cats forward keen to play on next season

Speculation has been building around the playing future of off-contract Cat Tom Hawkins, but his wife Emma has moved to end all that.

After 347 games and 781 goals with Geelong, Hawkins is driven to continue his outstanding career in 2024 and potentially beyond, Emma Hawkins told the Herald Sun.

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His former teammate Josh Jenkins said this week Hawkins is “a little irritated” that his contract saga hasn’t been solved, while it emerged Melbourne had even made an audacious bid to lure the 35-year-old away from the Cattery.

Retirement could also be an option, but that seems very unlikely for a key forward that produced 49 goals from 20 games this past season and is within reach of 800 career goals.

Now comments from his wife Emma have emerged from Geelong’s best and fairest awards night last week and she insisted Hawkins is loving life at the Cats, the club where he made his debut at just 19 years old way back in 2007.

Following the high of his third premiership win with the Cats in 2022, Hawkins and Geelong suffered the ignominy of missing the finals last season, ending up 12th on the ladder.

“Tom always said when he physically can’t or mentally can’t (play, he’d retire),” Emma Hawks said.

“But when the Cats didn’t make finals, I could tell there was a fire in his belly.

“He said we have the right people in place and he’s excited to get going. That’s how much he believes in this group.

“Tom’s biggest enjoyment that I could see is spending time with the younger group.

“The passion he has, maybe they make him feel like he’s 22 again, but he loves the group.”

While trade speculation is rife at this time of year, it is hard to imagine Hawkins wanting to see out the last years of his career in anything but Geelong’s white and blue hoops.

Emma Hawkins also denied her husband, a five-time All-Australian, is missing any of his retired teammates, particularly his long-term partner in crime, Joel Selwood.

“I don’t feel that Joel has been too far away,’’ Emma said.

“They’ve spoken more on the phone than I’ve ever witnessed in 17 years.

“He’s still got Mitch (Duncan), Jeremy (Cameron) and Stewy (Tom Stewart) and he’s happy.”

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