International rookie Ciarán Kilkenny has informed the Club he will remain in Ireland to pursue a career in Gaelic football and hurling.
Hawthorn’s Recruiting and List Manager Graham Wright said the Club was disappointed with the Irish youngster’s decision, but understood Kilkenny’s reasons.
“While we’re extremely disappointed, we respect and accept Ciarán’s decision at this time,” Wright said.
“Ciarán transitioned into the Club well, enjoyed all aspects of training and all of his feedback was positive, so news of his decision was quite unexpected.
“We understand that ultimately the pull of home in Ireland; his family, friends, football and hurling was a significant factor in Ciarán’s decision, which was easier to accept having acknowledged that our Club and its members demand a degree of commitment and dedication from every player on the Hawthorn list,” Wright said.
Kilkenny, 19, thanked Hawthorn for the opportunity to experience our Indigenous game.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Australia and am extremely grateful to Hawthorn for providing me with the opportunity to experience life as a professional athlete in a wonderful country,” Kilkenny said.
“The professionalism of the club was exemplary and they always made me feel really welcome.
“It may seem like a short time to spend in Australia, but I have always given absolute commitment to any team in which I was involved and I feel it would be unfair on both Hawthorn and myself to continue in a situation where I am not 100% committed and happy in myself,” he said.
Hawthorn signed Kilkenny as an International rookie in September 2012 and he began training with the squad on the players’ return for pre-season at the end of November.
The Club will remain open-minded should Kilkenny decide an AFL career is something he would like to re-visit in the future.