Dimma doing the hard yards

Though his new number is a famous one among brown and gold circles, Blake Hardwick hasn’t shied away from the newfound responsibility that comes with the No.15.

Left vacant by triple premiership captain Luke Hodge at the end of 2017, promising young defender Blake Hardwick was given the honour of donning his former skipper’s guernsey and locker number.

In 2018, he hasn’t missed a beat.

Known for his composure and clean hands in Hawthorn’s back end, the former No.37 has averaged 16 disposals, including four intercept possessions, at 81 per cent efficiency in the first six weeks of the season. His decision making is impressive, and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’d been in the AFL for a lot longer than he has when watching him go about his business.

Saturday night’s 35-point win over St Kilda saw Hardwick, affectionately known as ‘Dimma’, collect 23 touches – his highest disposal tally for the season and equal most across his short career.

“I thought last year my defensive game was pretty good, but I probably needed to get more of the ball,” Hardwick said on HawkTV after the match.

“That was something I worked on over the pre-season, and hopefully it starts to pay off.”

At 21 years old, and with 26 games under his belt, it looks like Blake Hardwick has laid the foundations for a long and exciting career in the brown and gold.