Tom Hawkins makes call on AFL future amid ongoing Geelong saga

The three-time premiership winner had reportedly become "irritated" with his contract stand-off with Geelong.

Seen here, Geelong forward Tom Hawkins and his wife Emma.
Tom Hawkins is 'excited' to play on with Geelong in 2024 after signing a one-year extension. Pic: Getty

Geelong's three-time premiership forward Tom Hawkins ended speculation over his AFL future after agreeing on a new one-year extension with the Cats. The 35-year-old had repeatedly stated that he wanted to play on at Geelong despite a bid from a rival club and rumours he could seek a new challenge elsewhere.

Hawkins' decision to agree the extension with Geelong came after Melbourne made an audacious bid to try and sign the veteran forward, while there were also some suggestions he could hang up the boots after a glittering career.

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"Melbourne's offer for him was good and it was laid out," SEN journalist Sam Edmund told AFL Trade Radio on Friday. However, Hawkins ultimately decided that his future lay at the Cattery after discussions with friends and family.

"The choices we make in professional sports aren't isolated, they ripple out and involve lots of other people in your life," Hawkins said in a Geelong club statement. "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 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.

"The future looks bright from here in Geelong. I look forward to the young guys keeping me young, and continuing to give my all to this club. My motivation without question is still there.

"I will continue as I was always taught, to try and leave this club in a better place than when I started. I'm really excited for the challenge that's in front of the team and myself moving forward into the future."

It comes after former Cats teammate Josh Jenkins revealing that the big forward has become "a little irritated" at how long it took to sign an extension with the club. Hawkins' wife Emma had allayed fears he could be looking for new pastures after revealing his love of the Cats.

Tom Hawkins 'excited' to play on with Cats in 2024

Speaking after Geelong’s best and fairest awards night last week, Hawkins' wife Emma insisted the 35-year-old was happy at Geelong and not looking to jump ship to a rival club. She says the fact the Cats missed out on the finals in 2023 left the big forward with a sense of unfinished business and provided him with even more motivation for 2024.

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

Hawkins' wife says the veteran forward loves being a mentor for the crop of youngsters coming through at Geelong. “Tom’s biggest enjoyment that I could see is spending time with the younger group," she added. "The passion he has, maybe they make him feel like he’s 22 again, but he loves the group.”

Pictured left to right is Tom Hawkins and Geelong coach Chris Scott.
Tom Hawkins and Geelong coach Chris Scott are both confident the big forward will be playing for the Cats next season. Pic: Getty

Geelong coach Chris Scott said at the end of last season that he was "100 per cent confident" that Hawkins and Zach Touhy would both play on in 2024. Hawkins suggested his contract extension with Geelong would be a "mere formality" which perhaps explains his reported annoyance at how long it had taken to agree.

Hawkins suffered a hamstring injury late in the season, bringing an early end to his 17th season in the AFL. Reports also emerged recently that Melbourne had made a shock bid to try and lure him away from Geelong.

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