Hawthorn's game against St Kilda this weekend has an extra special meaning behind it for Jack Scrimshaw.

Saturday's match marks the 25th anniversary of the Blue Ribbon Cup - a game in which the 25-year-old holds an important and personal connection to. 

Scrimshaw is best mates with Jimmy Miller, the son of Senior Constable Rodney Miller, who was tragically shot and killed while on duty alongside Sergeant Gary Silk in 1998.

That tragedy led to a commemorative game being introduced between Hawthorn and St Kilda the following year, that being the Blue Ribbon Cup, where the Miller family — and Scrimshaw by extension — have been involved in some way since.

Speaking to SEN on Wednesday, Scrimshaw detailed his "deeper" personal meaning behind the game.

“I met Jimmy when I was in prep and we’ve been best mates ever since," Scrimshaw explained.

“We used to go to these Blue Ribbon Cup games as young fellas and present the medals after the game - we were both Hawthorn supporters at the time.

“So it's pretty cool for me now to be able to play in these games. I’ve played in a few of them throughout the years, but then COVID kind of took it out for a bit. It’s now been 25 years.

"It’s a special game for me and special game for Jimmy. We constantly reflect on it... it’s a special thing to look back on for me to be able to play in these games now.”

Scrimshaw is determined to help the Hawks to their third win of the season when Hawthorn takes on St Kilda at UTAS Stadium on Saturday. 

Coming off a thrilling upset victory against the Western Bulldogs last week, the reliable defender said he was confident in his side's direction.

“I think we got back to our DNA that we’ve been building on for the last few years," Scrimshaw added.

"We’ve had a few disappointing games this year where we felt like our effort wasn’t quite up to it. We let a lot of momentum swings in games get the better of us in the end, and we were blown out a few times.

“But now we're getting back to the way that we want to play... we’ve been pleased with the last few weeks, it feels like we’re starting to get going a little bit and hopefully we can be a little bit more consistent.”

After admittedly dropping in form last year, Scrimshaw has been a consistent performer for the Hawks so far in season 2024, averaging 18.8 disposals and 6.3 marks, having played in every game to far this year.

He says a key driver in his development and desire to improve has been Coach Sam Mitchell.

The dynamic between the two came under the microscope recently after Mitchell confronted Scrimshaw following a costly turnover right before quarter time which helped extend Sydney's lead a fortnight ago.

Scrimshaw responded afterwards to be among his side’s best, recording 21 possessions at 85 per cent efficiency while clunking nine marks.

The defender said such direct feedback from the coach is something he particularly values.

“It was a pretty decent spray that I was on the end of, but I think that’s my relationship with Mitch. He is able to give me that direct feedback," Scrimshaw explained.

“Maybe in the past I would’ve put my head down and dwelled on it, but I was pretty happy with the way I responded, and so was he.

“Sam has got a great connection with all the players, he knows how to treat them individually and make sure he is getting the best out of everyone.

"He treats everyone a little bit differently, and felt like he could give me that sort of feedback and I was able to respond which is a good thing for me and my development. 

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Mitch, especially the last year. I was in and out of some form last year and we had some tough conversations that I had to do something about it.

“He feels like he can continue to challenge me, and I like to get that from him. It shows me that he cares about me and that he wants me to be a part of this team and to do well.

“By my response on the weekend I was keen to go out there and make sure that he knows that I’m all in with this club.”