GEELONG veteran Tom Hawkins has signed a one-year extension to extend his decorated career at Kardinia Park into an 18th season.
The 35-year-old will start 2024 only eight games behind Joel Selwood's Geelong games record of 355 after playing 20 matches this year.
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Despite Geelong committing to extending Hawkins' contract at the end of the season, it has taken time for an agreement to be struck between the Cats and the veteran forward.
Melbourne asked the question of his availability for next year in recent weeks, but Hawkins never explored a move away from the Cats.
Hawkins played a central role in Geelong's 2022 Grand Final win over Sydney in the weeks after he was named All-Australian captain for the first time after being named in the team for the fourth season in a row – and the fifth time overall.
The 2020 Coleman medallist kicked 49 goals from 20 appearances this season, after booting 67 majors last year and 62 in 2021.
The Deniliquin product will start 2023 on 781 career goals, behind only 13 players in the history of VFL/AFL football.
Geelong has now locked in Zach Tuohy and Hawkins for next season with the County Laois product breaking Jim Stynes' longstanding Irish games record late in the season of 264 games and locked in to return for a 14th season in the AFL.