There were several brown and gold stories throughout the year, both on and off the football field, that made our hearts warm a little in 2023.
Here's a recap of our favourite feel-good moments from the year.
500 Breust snags
After 13 seasons, superstar Hawk Luke Breust celebrated a major milestone by kicking his 500th career goal in Round 12 against Port Adelaide. The club celebrated Breust’s epic milestone in a rather fitting way - by cooking up 500 snags.
He also invited special guest and avid Hawks supporter Henry to come celebrate the milestone with him. Watch the moment below.
Punky and Henry have a friendship like no other 💛— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) June 6, 2023
Prepare the tissues for this one pic.twitter.com/buBboEVgfb
First gamers galore
Hawthorn revealed seven exciting debutants across the course of season 2023, with all of them impressing when given their chance. Moments like these just never get old!
A couple of Rising Stars
Two promising Hawks were able to land Rising Star nominations this year with first-year Josh Weddle and rookie Seamus Mitchell both receiving the accolades. Mitchell was able to turn things around rapidly this year after being rookie listed at the end of 2022, while Weddle was equally impressive in his maiden campaign, going on to also earn Hawthorn's Most Promising Player award.
At the start of the year we saw James Sicily become the 38th captain of the club. With this also came the appointment of two new vice captains with Luke Breust and Dylan Moore combining together to hold the role. It was a special moment for the duo, with Breust having been a close mentor for Moore across his time at the club.
A remarkable retro moment
While the Hawks were able to pull off several big wins this year against formidable opponents, it's really hard to top the euphoria following the win against the eventual premiership winners Collingwood in Round 21. Wearing an iconic jumper from the past, in front of more than 60,000 fans, the Retro Round win is one that will go down in the history books.
Retro Round 2023, over and out 🎞️ pic.twitter.com/ePCDLZmf5I— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) August 8, 2023
Nuke in the no.3
Although the handover technically happened at the end of last year, we've got to mention the significance of Jai Newcombe donning the number three throughout 2023. One of the all-time greats of the club, and the game, Leigh Matthews made a special visit to Waverley Park to handover the iconic number. We have a feeling that the best is still to come for Newcombe while donning the special digit.
Some special recognition
There were several Hawks to achieve some special individual honours this year. Coach Sam Mitchell was celebrated for his impeccable playing career after he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame. Similarly, Sicily was named in the All Australian team and Will Day also capped off an impressive year by claiming the Peter Crimmins Medal for 2023. Away from the football field, the club's Museum Curator Peter Haby was been awarded the 2023 Jack Titus Award for his service to the game.
Milestones are always special occasions, and there were several of them to celebrate this year. However, there was one milestone that stood out and that came in Round 22 against the Western Bulldogs. Teammates, midfield counterparts and good mates Jai Newcombe and James Worpel were able to celebrate their 50th and 100th games respectively together. They did it in true style too, with a win and goals for each (stemming from each other) capping off a day to remember.
We averaged more than 50,000 fans at our MCG home games this season for the first time since our three-peat era. We absolutely value and love seeing the brown and gold faithful among the stands! Averaging a crowd of 50,133 per MCG home game in 2023, we attracted fans to games at a rate that hasn't been seen since our 2015 premiership.