‘I’m not retiring’: Finley product keen to stick around

By Aydin Payne

Do not expect Finley product and star Geelong forward Tom Hawkins to retire any time soon.

That was the message from the power forward when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday in the lead up to Thursday night's match against Brisbane.

Hawkins, who has played more than 250 games and booted 550 goals with the Cats, made it crystal clear there are no plans to retire.

The 31-year-old brushed aside any speculation that this year could be his last, believing he has plenty of games left in the tank.

“What I do want to make crystal clear is that I do believe I’ve still got a lot of football left in me,” Hawkins said.

“I turn 32 at the end of the month, so in football terms I’m getting towards the back-end. But I do still think that I’ve got a lot of football left in me.

“There’s no plans to retire at the end of the year or end of 2021 ... I’m optimistic of how long I can play.

“As long as I’m still playing my role in the team and I still feel physically good and mentally good I’ll keep playing and putting my hand up to play.

“I’m not retiring at the end of the year.”

Hawkins also touched on playing with Cobram export Esava Ratugolea this year.

Ratugolea has showcased his sublime talents with contested pack marks, however, he is yet to impact the scoreboard in the modified season.

Hawkins said his 21-year-old teammate still had time to develop into a power forward.

“I've really enjoyed playing with him throughout his short career,” he said.

“He's got a lot of potential, he's still quite raw.

“I've said publicly before that I love the fact he wants to be a great player.

“He does get a little bit frustrated with himself, but I know he is going to get there, it just takes a little time with key position players.”