Key stats:

AFL games: 2

Disposals per game: 10.5

Spoils per game: 3

Intercept possessions per game: 2.5

Season summary:

After overcoming an early-season health condition, Serong pieced together some strong football in the back half of 2023 to earn senior selection in the final two games of the season. In just his second year, the 20-year-old made the transition from forward to defence and flourished in his new-found role. Boasting great speed and overhead marking ability, the 192cm youngster showed great versatility matching up on talls and smalls. With another strong pre-season under his belt, 2024 shapes as the perfect platform for Serong to establish himself at AFL level.

Best AFL game:

Serong saved his best for the final game of the season, putting in a strong showing in Hawthorn's 37-point loss to Fremantle in Round 24. Locking down on some of the Dockers best forwards, Serong was also able to find 15 disposals of his own, including four intercept possessions, five spoils and seven marks.

What the coaches said:

"It was a big year for Jai, he had a lot happen. He switched from forward to back mid-way through the year, but I think a lot of people forget he also had his heart condition early on in the season and missed close to three months. The fact he was even playing football this year is a credit to how hard he worked. The way he adapted to playing back was impressive. He put in some really consistent football at VFL level and then was rewarded at the end of the year with two games in the AFL. I think having Jai now do a pre-season with the defenders is only going to help him with his positioning and defensive craft. I’m really excited about his future as a defender.” - Kade Simpson