Hawkins readies for fast schedule

By Daniel Hughes

Get your beanies and your guernseys on and find your favourite spot on the couch, an AFL marathon starts tonight.

The AFL released a further four rounds of its 2020 season on Tuesday, July21 with 20 consecutive days of footy to take place.

Unrivalled non-stop action of spectacular goals, dazzling speckies and crunching tackles will take place from tonight until August 17, with 33 games played within the 20 days.

Finley's Tom Hawkins will have a tough task with four games scheduled within 14 days for Geelong.

The new fixtures for the Cats start on Saturday in Western Australia against West Coast, who are currently sitting at fourth on the ladder.

The Cats’ crucial clash against West Coast nearly saw Hawkins sidelined however.

In a moment of frustration on Monday night, Hawkins sprayed an elbow at Fremantle Dockers’ Luke Ryan in the fourth quarter while scrimmaging for the ball.

Match review officer Michael Christian deemed the action as intentional conduct on Hawkins and was given a one-match ban.

However, after a tribunal appeal from the Cats on Wednesday night, Hawkins' ruling was overturned and deemed the action as body contact (as opposed to high contact), downgrading to a $1000 fine and allowing him to be available for the Eagles game this weekend.

The Cats will head on a flight direct to Queensland with only have three full days of rest before lacing up the boots again on August 5 against North Melbourne at the Gabba.

The last two legs of the new fixtures will keep the Cats at the Gabba, where Hawkins will have to fight fatigue when he takes on two top three teams.

Staying at the Gabba for both, the Cats will play St Kilda (third) on August 10 and Port Adelaide (first) on August 14.

Hawkins made his impact felt on the field against the Dockers on Monday, putting on his third straight performance of three goals, leading the Cats to a 6.12 (48) to 2.4 (16) win.

The first quarter was relatively quiet from both teams despite a career first mark and goal in the first 30 seconds of the game from senior debutant Brad Close, helping Geelong to a 1.2 (8) to 0.2 (2) lead.

Scrappy play from both sides in the rain recorded yet another low scoring quarter, the Cats slowly nudging their lead forward, 2.9 (21) to 0.3 (3).

Hawkins got himself on the scoreboard half way through the third quarter when a grubber along the ground from Cats’ Mitch Duncan led to a feather off the right boot of Hawkins as it trailed in, taking his side 3.9 (27) to 1.3 (9) lead.

Hawkins recovered from the ground quickly to make a run across field to take a stretching mark inside the boundary line.

With only a short run-up, Hawkins managed to slot the side kick for a goal despite what little angle he had.

Hawkins third goal of the match came from more displays of soccer skills with another goal-line touch from his right boot.

The Finley product had yet another productive game with three goals, 12 disposals and five marks.