Young Hawthorn couple sign contract extensions A pair of young Hawks have re-engaged with the club.
WILL GUTHRIE As Hawthorn continues to rely on youth for its future, they have further consolidated their squad by signing young players Jai Serong and Josh Bennetts until the end of 2025 and 2024 respectively.
The Hawks made it clear to the AFL world during last year’s trade period that they would focus on youth, trading players such as Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara, while also heavily targeting the draft.
They appear to be following a similar path this year, but are also looking to capture some in free agency if they fit the right age profile. Serong and Bennetts clearly fit the mold of their roster strategy.
The new signing of Serong will particularly please the Hawks.
Jai, the brother of Fremantle’s Caleb, overcame some health issues this year before showing his versatility by moving from forward line to defense as part of his development.
Having played five games since being selected 53rd overall in the 2021 National Draft, the Hawks are encouraged by Serong’s progress and hope he continues to develop over the next two seasons.
Mark Mc Kenzie, Hawthorn List and Head of Recruitment, spoke enthusiastically about Serong’s character as he returns to top-flight football this year.
“In addition to his obvious talent, Jai has shown great resilience to return to the highest level this year after overcoming health issues earlier in the season,” McKenzie said.
“Jai has an impressive work rate and strong overhead marking ability.
He is a true competitor and demonstrates an excellent desire to learn and improve.
Demons release club statement on Clayton Oliver future As for Bennetts, he is highly regarded internally although he is yet to make his AFL debut.
The club view him as one of their most exciting prospects after winning Box Hill’s Best First Year Player award and finishing 6th in their best and fairest in just his first season.
“Josh is an incredibly talented player who we are really excited to invest more time and development into,” Mc Kenzie said.
“During his short time at the club he showed a lot of potential and regularly created scoring chances with his intelligent football and agility.
”“We are very pleased with the progress Jai and Josh have made so far and look forward to seeing what they can achieve in the future.
”With Hawthorn seemingly back on track, the two new signings add to their strength as they enter a major trade and draft period this year.