Friday, September 27, 2013

Hawthorn's Grand Final team

MIDFIELDER Jonathan Simpkin will replace the injured Brendan Whitecross in Hawthorn's Grand Final team.

It is the only change to the Hawthorn side that defeated Geelong in last Friday night's epic Preliminary Final.

Simpkin collected the Norm Goss Medal as best on ground in Box Hill's premiership win last Sunday with 26 disposals and two goals.

He replaces the luckless Whitecross, who will miss his second Grand Final in two seasons with a ruptured ACL, an injury he has sustained in last year's Qualifying Final and then again in last week's prelim.

Simpkin's inclusion in the side is a great story, having been cut by Geelong at the end of last season and then picked up by the Hawks as a Delisted Free Agent.

Now at his third AFL club, Simpkin seems to have found a home in brown and gold, almost immediately impressing with his ball-winning ability and aggression towards tackling.

Late in the season he became known as the Hawks' super sub, with the uncanny ability to impact games in short periods.

He has played 13 games this season and averaged 17 disposals.

Taylor Duryea, Shane Savage and Matt Spangher missed out on selection, despite also impressing for Box Hill last week. The trio are the side's three emergencies for the Grand Final.

Hawthorn Grand Final team
FB: Stratton Lake Guerra
HB:  Burgoyne Gibson Birchall
C:   Smith Mitchell Lewis
HF:  Breust Franklin  Rioli
FF:  Puopolo Roughead Hale
Rucks: Bailey, Sewell, Hodge
IC: Hill, Gunston, Simpkin, Shiels

EM: Spangher, Savage, Duryea

IN: Simpkin
OUT: Whitecross (knee)

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