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2014 Review: Angus Litherland

Season Review: Litherland Watch some of Angus Litherland's highlights for 2014.
Angus Litherland of the Hawks in action during the 2014 AFL Round 16 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on July 04, 2014. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
Angus Litherland of the Hawks in action during the 2014 AFL Round 16 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on July 04, 2014. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)

With the 2014 season now complete, hawthornfc.com.au will review the season of those who played a senior game for the Hawks in 2014 with the help of GM - Football Operations, Chris Fagan.
 

Season 2014 loomed as a critical one for Angus Litherland after three years on the list without earning a senior debut.

A solid and injury-free pre-season saw him impress the Hawks and it took until only Round 2 for him to finally force his way into the senior team.

Litherland would turn out to be one of the finds of the season for the Hawks, going from a player under pressure to one of the brightest lights heading into season 2015.

Unlucky not to play in this year’s finals series after playing 13 games, Litherland was recognised for his breakout contribution this year by being named the Best First Year Player by his coaches at the Peter Crimmins Medal.

Playing across half-back and switching on tall and small opponents, it was Litherland’s uncompromising attack on the man and the footy and ability to lockdown on his man that was telling.

But more, it was his penetrating kick and ability to take the game that really impressed and excited the Hawks at his prospects for the future.

Litherland averaged 12.4 disposals at a remarkable 82 per cent efficiency in his 13 senior games, with his best performance coming against the Giants in Round 11.

In that game, Litherland was critical in Hawthorn overcoming a gallant GWS by seven points. He has a career-best 19 disposals and laid eight tackles in that game, but it was his ability to win multiple key one-on-one contests against gun forward Jeremy Cameron that was crucial.

Time and again kicked the Hawks out of trouble, leading the backline without injured stars Brian Lake and Josh Gibson.

Litherland also impressed against Collingwood in Round 14, picking up 15 disposals with his rebound off half-back again a feature. He also backed himself and took six marks in that game.

He played nine consecutive games between rounds 11 and 19 before being squeezed out by senior Hawks like Matthew Suckling and Ben Stratton across half-back.

But he never dropped his head, heading back to the VFL to play with Box Hill with a positive attitude and taking with him the experience of playing senior footy.

There, he was crucial in their ability to make consecutive Grand Finals and was solid in defence in the loss to Footscray in the decider.

The 22 year old played with composure beyond his years and will have gained much-needed confidence from his debut season.

He was rewarded for his good form with a new contract mid-year, committing to the Hawks for a further two years.

 

What GM – Footy Chris Fagan said: “He’s been here for four years and got his chance this year – he played 13 games and looks like he can step up.

“He should get some confidence from the year that he’s good enough to play AFL footy. His first two years were marred by injury and probably self-doubt but now I think he knows he can do it.

“His pace and run and carry off half-back is a real feature. We expect him to contribute even more next year.”

 

Angus Litherland in the news in 2014
- Litherland rewarded with new deal
- Lessons of the past helping Litherland build a future

Videos featuring Angus Litherland in 2014
- Litherland speaks after his debut
- Litherland re-signs
- #everymoment: Litherland


Angus Litherland in action in his second career game.