By Luke Voogt
Tom Hawkins has claimed his maiden Coleman Medal at age 32 becoming the first Geelong Cat to do so since Gary Ablett Snr in 1995.
But Hawkins’ grandmother was probably the happiest about the medal, the big Cat revealed in a press conference on Tuesday.
“She’s a little bit old-school in the way that she barracks for her grandson,” he said.
“She doesn’t like me passing the footy off and encourages me to have shots [at goal], partly because she thinks I’m a good kick.
“She’s barracked for Geelong for a long time and she’ll get a lot of enjoyment [out of it], and I get enjoyment out of seeing the people that I love happy.”
Hawkins shared the credit with teammates for helping him top the goal-kicking tally.
“As a forward you’re a product of what happens up the field,” he said.
The Cats forward kicked another two goals against Sydney on Sunday, taking his season tally to 42, amid less games and shorter quarters due to COVID-19.
He was unlucky not to have an easy set shot for a third after questionable free kick cost him a mark.
Hawkins could be heard swearing in frustration at the umpire in Sunday’s broadcast but on Tuesday acknowledged the umpires have “a really tough job”.
“It’s a hard game to adjudicate,” he said.
“You get frustrated out there sometimes at the decision but they do an outstanding job. There will be mistakes … just like I made mistakes that day as well.”
His final tally set an almost insurmountable 12 goals for second-placed Charlie Dixon to steal the medal in Port Adelaide’s clash with Collingwood on Monday night.
Hawkins is the oldest player to win the Coleman since Tony Lockett in 1998.
The accolade adds to Hawkins’ Carji Greeves Medal (Geelong best and fairest) in 2012 and what is likely to be his third All-Australian selection this season.
The strong forward described his season as “consistent” and said he enjoyed the congratulations he received from friends and family.
But he said he was focussed on finals and would reflect more on individual accolades later in life.
“The team stuff – the premierships and winning big games – you really enjoy straight away.
There’s a lot of people that are proud of me and I’m proud of myself but at this stage, in my mind, I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”