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Star Cat Hawkins to shun free agency

Callum Twomey  January 17, 2015 10:09 AM

AFL 2014 Second Semi Final - Geelong v North Melbourne

Tom Hawkins says he isn't interested in testing the free agency waters

That (the contract) is going to get done. I'm happy with how it's going

ALTHOUGH he will qualify for free agency at the end of this season, Geelong forward Tom Hawkins has indicated he won't test the market and will sign a new deal with the Cats.

Hawkins and Adelaide star Patrick Dangerfield are the biggest names in the 2015 free agency pool.

Dangerfield continues to be linked to a move to Victoria but Hawkins is expected to continue his career at the Cats, where he has grown into one of the competition's most dominant goalkickers.

Cats to support play for Dangerfield

Based in Tampa, Florida, for several days to conduct testing at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Hawkins said contract talks were progressing well.

"We'll work that out over the next couple of months but at the moment I'm firmly entrenched in pre-season and doing what I can to prepare myself for the season, but that (the contract) is going to get done. I'm happy with how it's going," Hawkins told AFL.com.au.

The 26-year-old said he understood the interest in free agency after three years of the system in the AFL.

"That's football, that's what it's evolved to in the past couple of years, so there's going to be pressure on all sorts of players and scrutiny along the way," Hawkins said.

"It's an old cliché in football but until the time comes for both parties to sit down, we'll do that and we'll get it taken care of."

Hawkins, teammate Joel Selwood and Sydney Swans pair Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery travelled to America for the tests, which have been conducted at Bradenton's IMG Academy.

The facility houses the Gatorade institute, which has also been analysing data from the NAB AFL Academy players, who have stayed on campus for the past week.

Tough start for top talent on American tour

"It works really well for us because the guys at the IMG Academy and Gatorade have worked with the Geelong Football Club and we're both getting a bit of what we need out of it," he said.

"The data that we get will be very beneficial for us moving forward."

The players trained with the AFL Academy on Friday, before undertaking vision, sweat and fat-burning tests over the next few days.

The trip will break up a strong pre-season for the two-time premiership player, as the Cats look to move past last year's finals series when the club lost its first two finals after finishing third at the end of the home and away season.

Hawkins kicked 68 goals last year from 24 games, and is enthused by the recruitment of key forwards Mitch Clark and Rhys Stanley to the Cats.

"We're always looking to bring guys into our group who we think can make a difference on and off the field to give us every chance we can to win a premiership," he said.

"We've also brought in Sam Blease from the Demons, after we lost a bit of pace with Trav [Varcoe] and [Allen] Christensen gone, and he's a sharp player.

"All we're after is for them to come in, to learn the Geelong way and try to contribute as best they can. They're versatile players and ones we think can help us moving forward."