RUCKMAN Ben McEvoy says the switch from St Kilda to Hawthorn has given him a new lease of life.
McEvoy was involved in one of the biggest off-season trade stories when his 91-game career at St Kilda was brought to a halt.
‘‘It came as a shock and was a reality check, it makes you think where you are going with your footy,’’ he said.
McEvoy became the centre of a trade between St Kilda and Hawthorn with the 200-centimetre ruckman swapping clubs with Shane Savage as well as the Hawks foregoing a first round draft pick.
‘‘It was challenging at the time but I must say I’ve relished every minute since I walked through the door at Hawthorn and I haven’t enjoyed my football as much as I have this year,’’ he said.
‘‘I consider myself very lucky to be in a position that was thrust upon me and it’s a privilege to be at a club like Hawthorn.’’
McEvoy is looking forward to the opportunity of playing at Aurora Stadium on Sunday when the Hawks meet the Western Bulldogs.
After playing in the first game of the season against the Brisbane Lions McEvoy then missed the next two Tasmanian games against West Coast and the Gold Coast as he recovered from a hamstring strain.
‘‘Aurora is a beautiful ground to play on, it has nice depth and we normally get good crowds which creates a good atmosphere.
McEvoy’s hamstring injury kept him out of the Hawthorn team for six weeks and in that time he had to fight his way back to form via the club’s VFL affiliate the Box Hill Hawks.
‘‘By the time I got back into the seniors I was playing good footy and it has set me up for the latter part of the season.’’
McEvoy said he enjoyed the healthy rivalry that existed between him, David Hale and Jonathon Ceglar for the rucking positions at Hawthorn.
‘‘It obviously gets tough at the selection table at times as someone has to miss out but it keeps us on our toes to play good footy.’’
McEvoy considered himself very lucky to be offered a four-year contract by the Hawks and his hoping that he may be able to play past 2017. ‘‘I will be 28 when my contract expires and I would like to think I could play on till I was 30,’’ he said.