Hawks look forward

March 27, 2024 9:45 am in by
Drysdale coach Ben Carmichael. (Al Packer)

Drysdale coach Ben Carmichael says last year’s grand final loss to opening-round opponent Torquay has barely rated a mention ahead of Saturday’s clash at McCartney Oval.

The Hawks led the Tigers by a point at three-quarter time before being outscored seven goals to two in the final term to suffer a 32-point loss.

“We’ve got some new guys in, so we’re a different playing group,” Carmichael said.

Article continues after this ad

“We just want to start the season off well, and there’s no bigger challenge in footy than going and playing Torquay down there.”

The Delaney brothers, Cam and Tim, who have arrived from GFNL club Grovedale, will be among the new faces.

Andrew Crosbie (Newtown & Chilwell) and Flynn Chirgwin (St Mary’s/Geelong Falcons) will also pull on the brown and gold.

Carmichael, who will fly solo as coach in 2024 after sharing the role with Tom Ruggles for the past two seasons, says the Delaneys will bookend the Hawks.

Cam, who played six games for North Melbourne before spending two years with Geelong, will start forward, and Tim will play in defence.

Article continues after this ad

“For our practice matches, we’ve played Cam up forward and Tim down back,” he said.

“But, the good thing is, Cam is so flexible (that) he can play anywhere.

“But, at this stage, we’ll probably play him forward.”

Carmichael said Hamish Paynter, who joined Drysdale from Northern league club Macleod for the 2023 season, will be a late starter if he chooses to take the field this year.

“He’s about to have this third kid … he might not play at all,” Carmichael said.

Article continues after this ad

“But, we’re hoping to see him backend of the year.” 

Carmichael expects the midfield battle to be one of the highlights of Saturday’s clash, with Hawks captain Mitch McGuire and Tiger Matt Boag expected to cross paths during the contest.

Boag returns to the BFNL at the peak of his powers after claiming Newtown & Chilwell’s best-and-fairest last year.

“It’d be a great matchup, wouldn’t it?” Carmichael mused.

“We’ll certainly have a lot of guys go through that midfield.

Article continues after this ad

“They’ve got a fantastic bunch of mids, and we think we do as well.

“Whoever ends up on who, I’m not sure. But I’m sure the good midfielders of both sides will see each other on Saturday.”

The Tigers-Hawks clash will be broadcast live on from 1:30pm.