The Parade College Writing Workshop – Patrick Neal: Hawthorn’s 2013 redemption


by Patrick Neal


In September 2012, Hawthorn was left devastated when they faced off against Sydney in the AFL Grand Final. Sydney won the match 14.7 (91) to Hawthorn’s 11.15 (81). I watched the game so pumped up for Hawthorn to win, considering their amazing season that year. But as the final siren blew, my heart skipped a beat and I fell to the floor in despair. Little did I know, this loss would not stop the Hawks from winning the next three premierships in a row.


The year 2013 came. A new AFL season began. New players, new challenges ahead of them. Hawthorn had recruited Jonathan Simpkin, Tim O’Brien, Kaiden Brand, Michael Osborne, Jonathon Ceglar and Ciaran Kilkenny. My excitement was back for Hawthorn to win a premiership, and to avoid the experience of disappointment I felt last year.


23 rounds later, Hawthorn was on top of the ladder and in the finals once again. I was so happy that I started to run around the house screaming, “HAWTHORN’S IN THE FINALS! MUM, HAWTHORN’S IN THE FINALS!”. I really couldn’t contain myself. The Hawks went on to win all of their finals before the Grand Final at the MCG, and every time they won, I would run around the living room holding a Hawthorn flag that would shine beautifully in the living room light.


I travelled to my Yiayia’s (Greek for Grandma) house with my sister and parents for the usual family Grand Final day barbeque. However, this time I was more excited because I knew that Hawthorn would not lose twice in a row. I hadn’t known that I would be 100 per cent correct. Hawthorn took on Fremantle in an action-packed match at the ‘G. My heart couldn’t stop beating at the speed of light. The TV was turned on and the time finally came for the match to be played. The first siren sounded, and I jumped out of my chair so high I barely missed the roof.


All the whistles, crowd roars, goals and points were coming out of nowhere from both teams. The massive crowd’s bellows took me by surprise sometimes, but I got used to the noise. I remember the commentators went crazy after each expertly made play and after every goal kicked. I ate my sausages in the breaks of play, thinking about what would happen next. I couldn’t keep still from all the suspense, wondering what the outcome would be.


Then, four intense quarters later, the final siren blared out. The score came out as 11.11 (77) to 8.14 (62) in Hawthorn’s favour. I was yelling at the top of my lungs because of the excitement that could not be contained inside of me. Mum, Dad and my sister were clapping and screaming as well, but I don’t think they were as loud as me.


Hawthorn had made amends for their 2012 loss and I was sprinting around until I eventually fainted on the carpet in front of the TV. Unfortunately for me, I missed the classic medal ceremony. Since I was so exhausted from running, I didn’t get up from the carpet for a long while. Eventually I stood up from the floor with adverts playing from the TV and a note from Yiayia saying ‘CONGRATULATIONS!’ in the classic brown and gold colours.


After an amazing day at Yiayia’s house, we went home knowing that this would be the start of an exciting future for the Hawthorn Hawks. New players would arrive, old players would retire, some players would switch clubs. But that’s part of every footy season. This was the start of a bright future for the 2013 premiers.



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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Loved your story Patrick. The Hawks have been a power side for many years. Luke Hodge comes from where I live, and his mother used to baby sit my children when they were younger. I sure they must have had a kick of the footy with Luke at times.

  2. Love it, Patrick! I’m a Hawks supporter who has only ever attended one Grand Final… I was sitting in the MCG next to my wife the Swans supporter in 2012… As such, while 2013 was absolutely incredible redemption for us, I found our drubbing of the Swans in 2014 even sweeter!

  3. Vanessa Fox says

    Fantastic story Patrick! I could just picture you racing around Yiayia’s house, full of excitement as the match played out, and absolutely exhausted by the end of it!

  4. Joey Jo Jo Shabadoo says

    Great read Pat. The Mighty Hawks never let you down. Let’s hope you faint on the carpet in 2020

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