Main content

Silk rising through the ranks

2008 Rewind: "Genius" Franklin kicks eight Lance Franklin kicks eight goals against Brisbane in Round 5, 2008, pushing the Hawks to their first win at the Gabba since 2000.

Reflecting on all the topical milestones and achievements, past and present, as we head into Round 9 of the 2018 season. This is 'Footy Flashbacks'....

This Sunday Shaun Burgoyne will become the equal third oldest player in Hawthorn history.

Burgoyne will be 35 years and 211 days old when he plays against the Brisbane Lions, an identical age to Paul Salmon when he played his final Hawthorn game in a Semi Final in the 2000 season.

The second oldest Hawthorn player remains the club’s first League captain, Jim Jackson, whose final game in 1926 was played when he was 36 years and 108 days. Burgoyne will only have to play in 2019 to pass Jackson, but he would have to continue until 2021 to become the oldest-ever Hawk, an honour which of course belongs to Michael Tuck, who was 38 years, 96 days when he captained the 1991 Premiership team. 

This round marks the 10th anniversary of Hawthorn achieving its best-ever start to a season. In Round 9 2008 the Hawks defeated Melbourne by 19 points to make it nine consecutive wins from the start of the season, breaking the previous record of eight set in 2001.

Assuming he plays on Sunday, Luke Hodge will become the first appointed captain of Hawthorn for 68 years to subsequently play against the club. Fortunately, the circumstances are far happier in 2018 than they were in 1950 when Alec Albiston (captain-coach of Hawthorn 1947-49) lined up for his new club North Melbourne against the Hawks.

Albiston, and his close friend Col Austen, had left Glenferrie in great acrimony at the start of the 1950 season, after Albiston claimed a promise that was made by the committee that he would retain the captaincy (after he had been replaced as coach by Bob McCaskill) was not met. His replacement as captain, Kevin Curran, did not play in the Arden Street game as he was serving a suspension for ironing out Austen when the Hawks had played Austen’s new team Richmond a fortnight earlier. North won by 75 points.

Another former Hawthorn captain, Sam Mitchell, could have played against his old club last season, but missed through injury.

Hawthorn is playing away to Brisbane Lions for the just the second time since 2008. The Hawks were absent from the Gabba for seven consecutive seasons from 2009 to 2015, played there in 2016, and missed again last season. What makes the paucity of appearances in the last decade even stranger is the fact that Hawthorn played the Bears and Lions at the Gabba for 16 consecutive seasons from 1993 to 2008.

Hawthorn has won just six of 17 games against Brisbane at the Gabba and those victories include the first two games (1993 and 1994) and the most recent (2008 and 2016). Between 1995 and 2007, the Hawks lost 11 of 13 Gabba games, with the only successes coming in 1998 and 2000. (Hawthorn also lost a game against Essendon at the Gabba in 1981).

The highlights for the Hawks at the Gabba have included Jason Dunstall’s 1000th career goal in 1994; and a crucial win in 2000, when Nick Holland deservedly got the three Brownlow votes for pulling in a career-high 18 marks.

In the Round 10 2016 game at the Gabba. it took Hawthorn a long time to shake off the determined Lions, before a nine-goal to three final term clinched a 48-point win – 21.9.135 to 12.9.81 – with Jordan Lewis, Cyril Rioli and Josh Gibson among the best.

On a sadder note, that 2016 Gabba game proved to be Matthew Spangher’s final Hawthorn game. Spangher was playing just his fifth game since his starring role in the 2014 Grand Final 20 months earlier, but badly tore his hamstring early in the game. It was predicted to be an 8 to 10-week rehabilitation and he never made it back before he was de-listed at the end of the 2016 season. Spangher finished with the remarkable record of 24 games for Hawthorn, 23 of which were wins! 

In total, Hawthorn and Brisbane have met 46 times, with the Hawks having a 30-16 winning record, including the past eight encounters.

Hawthorn has played 92 matches in Round 9 for 42 wins and 50 defeats, having had a bye in this round in 2014. The Hawks only lost twice in Round 9 between 2005 and 2015, but have suffered losses in the past two seasons going down to Sydney at the MCG in 2016 and Collingwood at the same venue last season

30 years, in Round 9 1988, Hawthorn thrashed Footscray by 89 points at Princes Park – 23.16.154 to 9.11.65. Paul Abbott secured the 3 Brownlow votes for the first time in his career for his 22 disposals and 3 goals. Others who played well were Jason Dunstall (8 goals) and Gary Buckenara.

A recruit from another club also accumulated 30 disposals in the second of what proved to be just a three-game career for the Hawks. The former North player did have an ongoing role in the game though – it was future AFL boss, Andrew Demetriou.

40 years ago, Round 9 1978 was a throwback to the early 1970s as Hawthorn ventured to Moorabbin to take on St Kilda, having its best season for several years. A crowd of 25,293 saw a tight and tough encounter for three quarters with the Hawks leading by just a goal at the final change. However, Hawthorn then unleashed a 7.10 to 3.0 last quarter to secure a 40-point win – 13.19.97 to 8.9.57. Leigh Matthews and Michael Tuck were both outstanding.

Jason Dunstall holds the club individual goal-kicking record against Brisbane, with 11 goals in the first ever match between the two clubs at Carrara in 1987. Peter Hudson holds the Round 9 record, booting 10 in a 30-point victory over Fitzroy at Glenferrie in 1968.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs