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Finals, success lures Frawley to Hawks

James Frawley signs with the Hawks James Frawley has signed with Hawthorn during the Free Agency period.

THE LURE of success was enough to convince James Frawley Hawthorn was the place for him.

The Hawks confirmed the signing of free agent Frawley on Monday morning, after the former Demon confirmed he’d depart Melbourne.

An All Australian full back, Frawley says it’s surreal to finally be at his new club.

“I toured the facilities just before and it all looks very exciting,” he told hawthornfc.com.au

“To think that a few days ago I was at AAMI Park doing weights and running around there and now it’s all changed.

“It’s a bit surreal to be honest.”

After spending eight years and 139 games with Melbourne, Frawley admits the decision to leave his old club was one of the toughest of his life.

In the end it was the opportunity to play finals that was too much to ignore.

Frawley admits it was a difficult decision to make but he said seeing someone like Brian Lake, who has won two premierships with the Hawks after leaving the Bulldogs, was an example of the opportunity that lies ahead.

“Every player plays footy to try and win a premiership and be in a successful side and that’s what I see here at Hawthorn and that’s why I made the choice,” Frawley said.

“There were many factors that came into the decision but ‘Lakey’ has had some good luck coming here from the Bulldogs – two years running for two flags, that’s a pretty good strike rate.

“I’ll be happy to put my hand up for just one of them, that’d be enough for me.

“I’m sad to leave (Melbourne) but you have to do what’s best for you.

“I found it really hard, especially when it came down to the crunch of actually making the decision.”

While the Hawks achieved back-to-back premierships less than a week ago, Frawley’s off-season has been underway for a month, after the Demons failed to make the finals.

Since then, the new Hawk has been to Bali and back with some of his old teammates and already began training for next season.

But for now, after finally making decision on his future, Frawley will take the time to take a mental break and re-load for 2015.

“Now I’m back (from holiday) I’ve been training – doing a bit of running and weights – but trying to relax and let the mind calm down for a bit because it’s been a pretty hectic year with all the speculation,” he said.

“It’s good now to relax a little bit.”

He’s keen though, to hit the ground running on day one of pre-season to impress his new teammates.

“I’ve had a month off already so I am already ready to train,” he said.

“I just want to get out there on the track because that’s where you get to know your teammates and you get to bond with them.

“Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to catch up with a few of them.

“I’m really looking forward to doing the pre-season and getting to know all the boys, it’ll be great.”

He’s also excited about the thought of running out in the brown and gold for the first time but isn’t getting caught up in thinking too far ahead just yet.

The level-headed defender says his focus between now and Round 1 is to get to know his new teammates as best he can so he can perform his role for the team when the season gets underway.

“I’ll be pretty nervous coming out in my first game but that’s a long time away,” he said.

“Hopefully I can learn as much as I can over the pre-season with the players and try to get a good bond and connection with them.

“That way the first time I run out there I can play my role and perform.”

Ironically, when the time does come to pull on the brown and gold guernsey of Hawthorn for his debut game at his new club, it won’t be for the first time.

As a youngster growing up in Ballarat, Frawley attended Delacombe Primary School and wore a brown and gold uniform almost every day.

“It’s actually not too bad – I’m not sure what it looks like on TV but hopefully alright,” he joked.