Tamara Smith continued to be one of Hawthorn's most reliable players in 2023, stepping up to play another nine games in the brown and gold. 

While 2022 saw her play predominantly as a midfielder, 2023 saw the 23-year-old evolve as a half-back.

Not only did she apply her high footy IQ, running and aggression to the new position but she was also able to play a role as a lockdown defender, highlighted by shutting down dangerous Brisbane forward Courtney Hodder in Round 5.

Smith did everything that was asked of her by the coaches, slotting into the new position seamlessly.

Of course, when we speak about Smith, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge her tackling pressure, which she again applied in 2023.

Those factors combined with being an outstanding teammate saw her win Hawthorn's Most Courageous award for a second straight season.

Key stats:

Disposals per game: 8.9

Tackles per game: 5.3

Key achievements:

  • Winner of Hawthorn's Most Courageous award for a second straight season

Best game:

Round 5 v Brisbane

There were a lot of contenders for Smith's best game in 2023, from her 14 tackles in Round 1 to double-digit disposals against Fremantle, Port Adelaide and Geelong.

However, it was her performance against Brisbane that stood out.

While nine disposals and four tackles may not sound like outstanding numbers, it was what Smith did off the ball that played a big part in Hawthorn keeping up with the Lions for three quarters.

Playing off the half-back line, the 23-year-old was tasked with shutting down Brisbane forward Hodder and successfully limited her to three disposals for the match.