Hawk for life: Massive new deal for club’s next-gen leader

HAWTHORN star James Sicily has inked a massive new contract to wipe him off the free agency list and make him a Hawk for life.

The gun defender, who has returned from his knee reconstruction in brilliant form for the Hawks this season, has agreed to a five-year extension, which was first flagged in AFL.com.au‘s Inside Trading in March.

It makes him a Hawk until the end of 2027, when he will be 32.

He follows the trend of the game’s best free agents maximising their market value, with Western Bulldog Jack Macrae and Tiger Jayden Short also inking five-year deals this season and Collingwood’s Darcy Moore and Sydney’s Isaac Heeney agreeing to six-year extensions.

Sicily is seen as the club’s likely next skipper, potentially as soon as next year, and looks set to be a first-time Therabody AFL All-Australian this year after dominating in Hawthorn’s defence.

James Sicily leads Hawthorn out against Melbourne in round seven on April 30, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

He missed all of 2021 after undergoing knee surgery towards the end of the 2020 season, with his signature an important step under coach Sam Mitchell’s rebuild.

The 27-year-old, who has played 102 games, is a late-draft success story for the Hawks having been taken with pick 56 in the 2013 intake as an exciting forward.

“We couldn’t be happier to make James a Hawk for life with this contract extension,” Hawks list manager Mark McKenzie said.

“This deal demonstrates James’ strong commitment to the club, as he continues to develop his leadership capabilities.

“After starting his career up forward, James has since become one of our most reliable defenders, with elite rebounding capacity.”

SOURCE: afl.com.au