Hawks in town for pre-season camp

Guess who's back: Changkuoth Jiath pictured playing in Morwell in 2020, is in Morwell this week as Hawthorn undergoes a pre-season camp. file photograph




HAWTHORN Hawks are in Morwell this week for a four-day pre-season camp, which started on Monday.

Following the retirement of former Hawks skipper, Ben McEvoy, coach Sam Mitchell will be assessing his squad for its next captain.

“I’m pretty confident we’ve got a few options. I mean it’s obvious on the external that James Sicily is the big, obvious one, but certainly there’s a lot of players who I wouldn’t underestimate their influence on the group,” Mitchell said.

Not only this, but Mitchell will also have to identify a new number-one ruckman, as McEvoy held that title for the better part of a decade.

Three ruckmen are in the hunt for the number-one ruck role with Ned Reeves, Max Lynch and Lloyd Meek all in the running.

Some familiar faces are down as a part of the squad; Changkuoth (CJ) Jiath, Jai Newcombe and Jai Serong.

Jiath grew up in Morwell, before being selected as a Category-B rookie in 2017, making his AFL debut late in 2019.

He has now become one of Hawthorn’s best off half-back, providing run and carry up the ground.

Newcombe didn’t have the easy route to AFL either, beginning at Poowong in the Ellinbank and District Football League.

He wasn’t offered to play for Gippsland Power until 2020, but due to COVID, didn’t feature for the rep side.

Newcombe climbed the ranks at Waverly, starting in Hawthorn’s VFL equivalent – Box Hill Hawks – before impressing in the AFL club.

While playing for Box Hill, Newcombe was working in Warragul, commuting to train twice a week.

He was then selected with pick two of the 2021 mid-season draft, and has become a staple of Hawthorn’s young midfield.

Serong has only just broken into the team, playing three games at the end of last season.

He grew up in Inverloch before his family moved to Warragul.

The Hawks are here until tomorrow (Thursday), while staying at Federation University in Churchill.

A clinic is expected to be held today (Wednesday, February 1) at Ronald Reserve from 4pm until 5pm in Morwell East.

Keep posted for more information on Hawthorn’s socials; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or on its website at https://www.hawthornfc.com.au/