Be The Ultimate AFL Grand Final Armchair Expert With Our Instagramtastic, Fact-Filled Guide To The Hawks

Hawthorn, the footballers. Picture: Getty Images

There’s less than 48 hours to go before the AFL Grand Final and you’ve probably read all the analysis you need to decide if it’s going to be a Swans or Hawks victory.

The men who take to the field have dedicated their lives to the game since before they went to school. There’s mobile big men, nuggety on-ballers, crumbing forwards and electrifying excitement machines and where they’ll play, who they’ll play on and even if they’ll play at all has been dissected to the Nth degree this week.

There’s also 42 humans nervously waiting to see if they can live up to the immense expectations of their fans. Some are barely out of their teens, others – such as Hawthorn’s David Hale – have welcomed a new baby into their household in the past week.

They’re not the strong, silent hard men of the VFL past. Back in those days, you might chance across a champion when he came round to fix a washer, apprenticed to the local plumber who also does the rubdowns after training during the week.

These days, they’re on big money, they take care of their hair and their lives on and off the field are on show in the media almost every other day. So it’s nice to see social media give them a chance to show a little personality.

And with this ultimate guide to one thing you didn’t know about every player, you can also sit back on Grand Final Day and pretend you’re Bruce McAvaney for a day.

Today, it’s Hawthorn’s turn. We’ll get to the Swans tomorrow.

Brian Lake

Changed his name from Brian Harris to Brian Lake to keep his father’s family name alive.


Sam Mitchell

For a full year after the birth of his first child, spent the night before a game away from home so he could sleep properly.

Picture: Getty Images

Ben Stratton

DJs for the Hawks in the changerooms pre-game and gets blamed if they lose due to his “bad mix”.


David Hale

Shares his name with a US NFL player, a US baseball player, a US ice hockey player and an English cricketer.

Picture: Getty Images

Liam Shiels

Will play with a broken nose after his captain Luke Hodge booted him in the face in last week’s preliminary final.


Grant Birchall

Is right-handed and right-footed for everything except kicking a football.


Shaun Burgoyne

Broke a fan’s hand just last week when he missed a goal and hit her instead. (He apologised.)

Josh Gibson

Had a “season-ending” fall in 2007, when he slipped and bruised his brain in the shower. Then made it back for Round 21 and shut down Lance Franklin while playing for the Roos.


Luke Hodge

Created a secret Twitter account specifically to attack teammate Jordan Lewis in defence of someone Lewis was hassling at the cricket.

Picture: Getty Images


Bradley Hill

One of only two sets of brothers to have played on opposing teams in an AFL/VFL Grand Final when he faced Stephen lining up fr Freo last year. The other pair were the Belchers in 1912.


Jordan Lewis

Publicly admires Sonya Kruger.

Will Langford

Knocked back an offer to join the AIS-AFL Academy when he was 16 so he could live in Paris on a student exchange program.


Isaac Smith

Hawthorn’s undefeated champion of the two-kilometre time trial.

Picture: Getty Images

Luke Breust

Nickname: Punky. And he’s Trent Barrett’s cousin (a sometimes handy NRL player).


Matt Spangher

Has 11,319 Facebook fans who think he might be the reincarnation of Jesus.

Picture: Facebook

Paul Puopolo

There are eight AFL players shorter than Paul Puopolo. Fact.


Jarryd Roughead

Hit a six off Brett Lee during the Ricky Ponting testimonial match earlier this year.

Picture: Getty Images


Jack Gunston

His dad was CEO of Essendon Football Club last year.


Matt Suckling

Missed out at the 2009 rookie draft when the recruited mistakenly called the number for another Matt Suckling who now plays for Collingwood in the VFL. But only for a few seconds.

Picture: Getty Images

Taylor Duryea

Happy to have a go at cutting his teammates’ hair.



Jonathon Ceglar



Jonathan Simpkin

Although just 26, has already played in five grand finals across AFL, VFL and AFL Canberra.


Cyril Rioli

Has been going out with his fiancee Shannyn since they were 13 and owns an underwear business.


Brad Sewell

In 2008, all three Sewell brothers played in premiership sides – Brad (Hawks, AFL), Adam (Ballarat, BFL) and Myles (North Ballarat, VFL)


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