Before the Hawks meet the Lions on Sunday (and in doing so, come face to face with a certain former player), we thought we’d have a look back at how the Hawks have performed in their first meetings with past club greats...
Retired from Hawthorn after 1992 season, returned to play for Sydney in 1994
First met in Round 12, 1994 at SCG
Hawthorn 21.15 141 def Sydney 13.5 83
After spending a year out of the game in 1993 to recover from crippling chronic hip pain that limited his final year in the brown and gold, Brereton was recruited by Sydney ahead of the 1994 season. Brereton’s one-year, seven-game career at the Swans wasn’t overly inspiring to say the least, with the former Hawk star receiving two seven-week suspensions throughout the season. But his game against the Hawks mid-season was a rare individual bright spot in his time in the red and white despite his side losing by 58 points. Brereton kicked a season-high three goals and took a season-high seven marks.
Departed Hawthorn for Melbourne after the 2016 season
First met in Round 7, 2017 at MCG
Hawthorn 14.10 94 def Melbourne 14.7 91
Jordan Lewis had one of the best games of his debut Demon season against the Hawks in Round 7 last year. Lewis had 30 disposals and kicked two goals as he was one of his side’s best players. As well as the build-up of having a four-time Hawthorn premiership player playing against the brown and gold, this game had added importance for both sides with the Hawks having won just one game to that point and the Demons looking to firm their placing in the top eight. As it happened, the Hawks recorded one of their best wins of the season as they held off a desperate Melbourne outfit by three points at the final siren.
Departed Hawthorn for Sydney after the 2013 season
First met in Round 8, 2014 at ANZ Stadium
Sydney 15.17 107 def Hawthorn 13.10 88
One of the more memorable games of a player playing against his old side, Lance Franklin had a night of all-sorts in his first encounter against the Hawks. 27 years old at the time, Franklin gathered 21 disposals, 10 marks (five of which were contested) and four tackles. But his game, which earned him one Brownlow vote, could have easily been awarded best on ground had his work in front of goals been slightly better. Franklin’s first goal of the game came in the last quarter, having kicked seven points before that. Buddy finished with two goals for the game as the Swans overcame the Hawks by 19 points. The two sides would meet later that year in the Grand Final.
Departed Hawthorn for Adelaide after the 1995 season
First met in Round 11, 1996 at Waverley Park
Hawthorn 16.12 108 def Adelaide 14.15 99
Darren Jarman’s move from Hawthorn to Adelaide at the end of the 1995 season was huge news in the football landscape. Jarman was coming off a year in which he won the Hawthorn best and fairest, came second to Sydney’s Paul Kelly in the Brownlow Medal count and earned his second All-Australian honour. He would go onto be selected in his third All Australian side in his first year at the Crows but certainly not on account of his first game against the Hawks. In a year in which he averaged 20.9 disposals and 2.4 goals, the Round 11 clash was clearly Jarman’s worst game of the year as he was kept goalless and had just nine touches for the game.
Departed Hawthorn for Richmond after 1987 season and then went to Footscray in 1988
First met in Round 9, 1988
Hawthorn 23.16 154 def Footscray 9.11 65
Wallace did not face Hawthorn in his single season at Richmond in 1987. But in 1988, having moved on to Footscray, Wallace got a chance against his old side in Round 9. Having built a reputation at the Hawks as a talented ball-getter, Wallace delivered a game typical of this character, gathering 30 disposals and kicking two goals. It was a strong game for Wallace against a rampaging Hawthorn outfit that would go onto win the VFL premiership later that year. Wallace won the Bulldogs’ best and fairest in that year and the next, as well as an All Australian honour in 1988.
Departed Hawthorn for Brisbane after 1987 season
First met in Round 12, 1988
Hawthorn 10.20 80 def Brisbane 2.5 17
After four premierships across 229 games and 12 seasons at Hawthorn, Rodney Eade moved to the Brisbane Bears at the end of the 1987 season. Joining the Bears in their second year in the competition in 1988, Eade was targeted to bring in some premiership experience to the fledgling club. In his first of three games he would play against the Hawks, Eade was serviceable, gathering 15 disposals, one mark and two tackles.