Good morning Hawkers,
Well, we have had a busy few days.
Firstly, our loss to Essendon on Friday night was disappointing, and at 5-7 we are not where we wanted to be at this stage of the season.
Although we have had several injuries the reality is we have always said when one soldier falls, another takes his place.
A lot of what we are witnessing on the field should give us great confidence about our prospects. Some of our younger players are performing well, including Sicily, Hardwick and Worpel. Others are showing glimpses of what the future may deliver, and then Burgoyne, Puopolo, Henderson and Impey are all punching above their weight.
So, we head to Sydney this weekend for the next test of our team. Of course, every game now is important. But we are still in the hunt.
If you needed any spiritual lift, on Saturday night we celebrated the 1989 Premiership reunion. Now won 30 years ago.
I still consider that the best grand final I have ever seen, and maybe the best game ever played.
Such a game would not be allowed now. It was fast, it was brutal. It was a story, both of coach, Allan Jeans, and team, led by Captain Michael Tuck.
It was a vivid example of team members working together and extraordinary examples of individual sacrifice, sacrifices that, for some, were still being felt days and weeks after the contest.
As we listened to some of the 1989 team members re-tell their stories and mixed with those in attendance at the function, everything that is good about our Family Club resonated.
Importantly, we celebrated our past success together, with we, the supporters, basking in the glory of our teams’ success, and the team members basking in the glory of their deeds.
We celebrated and we were inspired, and I hope our current players were lifted by what they saw and heard.
The night also saw past President Ian Dicker inducted into Hawthorn’s Hall of Fame. It was an emotional night for Ian who flew down from Sydney especially for the night.
Dicker, together with former Captain Don Scott, who lit the fuse that started the club’s successful fight to avoid the merger with Melbourne in 1996, began the task of rebuilding the club from a wretched position.
Ian recounted many of his experiences at Hawthorn and thanked his family for their support during his time as President. He also named several people who were part of his small group, committed to rebuilding the club.
Coach Alastair Clarkson introduced Ian and placed the Hall of Fame medal around his neck to a standing ovation from the assembled guests. It was a very special night.
As you know off field, we have had to deal with our Captain Ben Stratton’s appearance before the AFL Tribunal.
He was found guilty by the Tribunal and given a two-week suspension, one week for each offence.
The club stands by Ben. Of course, we consider such behaviour unacceptable, as does Ben, and he has expressed his remorse for his actions as a player and especially as captain of our club.
Ben has never been before the Tribunal in his 10 years at the club, so his behaviour was uncharacteristic.
The club does not take this issue lightly, and the Board discussed the matter at its meeting on Monday night. We decided the process must be completed, accept the decision of the Tribunal and move on.
Of course, no one is without fault, and that includes your quiet President.
I made some comments on Monday about the new Behavioural Awareness Officers employed on Friday night at Marvel Stadium. The comments were out of line, and I apologise for using them. They were not intended to cause grief, but clearly did for some, and I am therefore sorry I spoke as I did.
So onwards and up wards. As I said Sydney this Friday night. Let’s hope we can bring home the four points and return to a quieter week next week.
Jeff Kennett President