Dubble Click
News Blog

Hawks bid farewell to two-time premiership-winner McEvoy

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell has praised the club’s togetherness at it prepares to navigate life without retired skipper Ben McEvoy.

The two-time premiership winner’s 252-game career came to a close on Sunday afternoon in a 23-point loss to the Western Bulldogs in Launceston.

McEvoy, who missed a big chunk of the year after a horror training accident, picked up two goals.

The first, perhaps fittingly, was from the first touch of debutant Jack Saunders, who sneaked a handball to the 33-year-old veteran in front of goal.

“Our debut player’s first touch was a handball to our retiring captain for a goal. No doubt that will be shown in the highlight tapes,” Mitchell said.

The rebuilding Hawks fielded eight debutants in 2022, including Saunders and Ned Long in their final-round match, and picked up eight wins for the season – one more than last year.

“We’ve had some ups and downs but at no point have we wavered from the direction we’re heading as a football club,” Mitchell said.

“We really didn’t rely on any individuals. We lost our captain for almost the whole season.

“The amount of leadership and growth that came from underneath and within was far better than I could have expected at the start of the season.

“We’ve seen the emergence of an enormous amount of young talent. The togetherness the group is building now, if we continue, is something pretty special.”

In their first year under Mitchell, the Hawks beat minor premiers Geelong and pushed other top-eight teams including Collingwood and Melbourne.

“Part of me thinks the last 12 months has only taken 12 minutes. There’s another part of me that makes it feel like 12 years,” he said.

“I’ve really enjoyed the role. I’ve loved (it) … even the bits that haven’t been fun. For the most part I’ve felt nothing but support.”


Source link

Comments are closed.