AFL: Tom Hawkins signs new contract to stay at Geelong

Geelong has put to bed any concern Tom Hawkins might finish his AFL career at a second club after securing the champion goalkicker on a new one-year deal.

There were fears the 35-year-old may retire or seek opportunity elsewhere after it emerged this week he was yet to re-sign with the Cats, but Hawkins put pen to paper on a new deal on Friday to avoid heartbreak for the Geelong faithful.

The veteran forward will play on for an 18th season in 2024 to bring him past 350 games, while 54 goals would take him past Doug Wade to become the second highest goalkicker in Geelong history behind Gary Ablett Snr.

Hawkins, who had briefly been linked to Melbourne while he remained uncontracted, said it had been important for him to take the time to plan his future with family before committing to a new deal.

“I’m truly humbled to be entering my 18th season with the Cats, the team I grew up cheering for,” Hawkins said.  

“The choices we make in professional sports aren’t isolated, they ripple out and involve lots of other people in your life.

“That’s why after each season, after each contract, I always take time to sit and reflect with my loved ones to discuss our future and not only what’s the best for me but also for everyone who’s on this journey with me.

  “I was always motivated to continue playing with the Cats. Geelong isn’t just where I work, it’s home. It’s the community that’s given me so much, and I feel privileged to have another chance to give back in 2024.”

Cats football boss Andrew Mackie said he was thrilled his three-time premiership teammate was staying at Kardinia Park for at least one more season.

“Tom is such a big part of the Geelong Football Club, we are excited to have Tom playing on in 2024,” Mackie said.

“His leadership, knowledge, professionalism and on-field contribution, where he continues to be one of the best at his craft, will help drive our club forward.

“Tom is integral to our football program and continues to positively influence our playing group, especially our young forwards and key position players, and we can’t wait to see Tom in the hoops for an 18th season.”

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