Tom Scully does battle with Jade Gresham during their Marsh Series Community clash

HAWTHORN has reprogrammed obsessive trainer Tom Scully in the same manner as Brownlow medallist Shane Crawford and Luke Hodge to ensure he ekes more time out of his career.

Scully, 28, is entering his second season as a Hawk and appears primed to reward them for the punt they took on him, after putting the worst of his career-threatening ankle injury behind him.

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Even still, as coach Alastair Clarkson told, Hawthorn's medical and strength and conditioning teams will continue to take precautions with the gut-busting wingman. 

"I'm hopeful that we'll see a much more productive Tom Scully this year, albeit we still need to manage him and he'll never train like he used to when he was a 21-year-old," Clarkson said. 

He's doing a lot of work but we've had to re-educate him, because just training on volume and intensity (would be detrimental in the long term).

- Alastair Clarkson on Tom Scully

"Guys like Shane Crawford and Robert Harvey were machines and it was a badge of honour for them to be the hardest workers but unfortunately you end up blowing yourself up, either through injury or fatigue. 

"We've had really good success with Shaun (Burgoyne), 'Hodgey', 'Roughy' (Jarryd Roughead), Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis. 

"We just had to educate them to train differently in the last four or five years of their career to give them an extra year or two." 


Scully's renowned professionalism and dedicated training habits were evident while he was still a teenager and starring for Berwick, then Narre Warren, Dandenong Stingrays and Haileybury College. 

Melbourne made him the dux of the 2009 draft class but he spent just two years there before accepting a lucrative deal with Greater Western Sydney, where he became the game's best 'two-way' runner. 


Then came Scully's crossroads moment. 

The dual All-Australian nominee suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the same round two game two years ago that Magpie Tim Broomhead broke his left leg. 


Scully didn't play again that season because of complications with the serious setback and there was the potential – however unlikely – he may never play again, or would at least be a shadow of his former self. 

A combination of the injury, the Giants' salary cap situation and a want to return to Victoria saw him shipped to the Hawks for barely a portion of his once-enormous value. 

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Scully ultimately exceeded most expectations to play 21 games last year but his numbers across the board and general impact didn't compare to those he produced in his prime. 

His summer program was designed to gradually bring him back up to speed and he played only the first three quarters in Hawthorn's intraclub match a fortnight ago. 

Tom Scully kicks at goal during the Hawks intraclub game in February. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Yet even on that soggy afternoon at Waverley Park, there were several signs the Scully of old was re-emerging, most notably with his running capacity. 

He followed up with 18 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal in less than 80 per cent game time against St Kilda in the Hawks' Marsh Community Series opener on Thursday night.

Hawk Tom Scully and Saint Hunter Clark contest a mark during the Marsh Community Series clash at RSEA Park. Picture: Michael Willson, AFL Photos

"Sometimes, it's like we pull these guys out of a medical room and the rehab ward to come to our club but we've had to do that and just back our (medical) guys in," Clarkson said. 

"We've had fantastic stability and continuity with those areas of our club … so we're all on the same page and have enormous trust in one another.

"As a result of that, we've been able to get a lot of players to play a lot more footy than, perhaps, (others thought they would). 

"Tom Scully's highly talented and has some athletic attributes. He should be in our best 10 players if he's up and going and doesn't have an injury that might curtail his career."