DONE DEAL: Hawks has Reportedly Sign $48million Emerging defender…


Hawks sign VFL player Phillips.

Ethan Phillips, an emerging defender, has joined Hawthorn’s rookie list ahead of schedule following the pre-season supplemental selection procedure.

The 196cm intercept back, who joined the Box Hill Hawks at the start of the 2024 preseason, will strengthen Hawthorn’s defensive options after James Blanck (ACL) was added to the long-term injury list last week.

The 24-year-old previously played for Port Melbourne in the VFL, rising to become one of the top state league backs in 2022, making the VFL Team of the Year and winning the prestigious Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the competition’s best young talent.

Phillips was resolute in 18 VFL games last season, averaging 11 intercept possessions, 4.9 intercept marks, 4.6 spoils, and 17.6 disposals at 83.2% efficiency per game.

Mark McKenzie, Hawthorn’s National List and Recruiting Manager, said Phillips’ arrival to the Hawks’ defensive unit was welcome.

“Having showcased his trade against AFL-listed forwards in the VFL, we believe Ethan is more than ready to take this next step,” McKenzie said in a statement.

“Ethan is regarded as the VFL’s top intercept defender in 2022, with an exceptional ability to read the game and a strong dedication to the one-on-one combat.

Ethan’s path from being missed in prior years to finally fulfilling his dream of playing in the AFL is a story of determination, perseverance, and hard work.

“A readymade key defensive option, he now has the opportunity to further develop his skills and make an impact at AFL level.”

Phillips is the latest player to sign with Hawthorn after coming via VFL affiliate Box Hill, joining current coach Sam Mitchell, James Blanck, and Jai Newcombe.

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