Hawthorn will unveil another debutant this weekend, with youngster Sam Butler set to play his first AFL game when the Hawks take on Richmond on Saturday.
The 19-year-old has earned the senior call-up against Richmond following several promising performances in the VFL.
Butler has proved himself as a clean and fast utility who attacks the footy hard throughout his first season at Box Hill.
Taken with Pick 23 in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft, the half-forward has averaged 11.6 disposals and kicked five goals across five VFL matches this year.
Butler arguably played his best game on the weekend, finishing with three goals and 15 disposals.
Head of Football Rob McCartney said the club has been impressed by Butler’s athleticism and development in his first season at the club.
“A few minor injuries in the pre-season has meant that Sam has had to wait a little longer for his opportunity to make his AFL debut,” McCartney said.
“With some playing continuity over the past month at Box Hill he has continued to improve, this culminated in a strong performance against Essendon in the VFL game at Windy Hill on Sunday.
“Sam is a player with genuine leg speed, who has a good balance between being a dangerous forward who can kick goals and a pressure player who can help create turnovers for others to capitalise on.
“We are all looking forward to Sam taking his first step in his AFL journey on Saturday at the MCG.”
Butler was one of four draftees to join the club via last year’s national draft after the Hawks swooped on Josh Ward (Pick 7), Connor Macdonald (Pick 26) and Jai Serong (Pick 53).
He will become the fourth Hawk to make his debut this year, joining Ward, Macdonald and Jackson Callow.
Hawthorn will face Richmond at 1.45pm this Saturday.
The full team will be released at 6.20pm on Thursday via hawthornfc.com.au.