Ricky Henderson says even he has been a bit surprised by how well he has settled into the Hawthorn line-up.
The ex-Crow has been a regular in brown and gold since arriving as a delisted free agent in 2016, missing just three games last season and none so far this year.
Now 29, Henderson regularly gathers 20-plus touches but has lifted his tackle count to three per game in 2018 – a career-best number keeping the rangy winger as one of Alastair Clarkson’s first picked.
“I wasn't too sure what to expect when I first got to Hawthorn, they’ve been such a great club for a long time and I wasn’t too sure whether I was going to squeeze my way into the team,” Henderson said.
“I’m not too sure whether the club thought they were going to get as many games out of me as they have but it’s been really good to play some consistent football and cement my spot in the team.
“I’ve been really happy with the way it’s all gone so far and hopefully there’s a little bit more to come.”
Hawthorn will celebrate James Frawley’s 200th game by watching a specially-prepared highlights package on Friday night, and will be hoping to celebrate a sixth Launceston clean sweep in eight seasons on Saturday.
Going in their favour will be the career-best form of Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell and James Sicily, but the Hawks will take nothing for granted.
Henderson, who favours Bluestone Bar and Kitchen as Launceston’s best coffee, said round 10’s shock loss to the Lions remained fresh in the memory.
“The competition is so even that we can finish anywhere from 10th or 11th to second on the ladder, so you never know what’s going to happen but if we look too far ahead before this week we could shoot ourselves in the foot.
“We went up to Brisbane seven weeks ago and probably thought we should have won a game nice and easily and got a rude awakening when we ended up losing by 60-odd, so we’ll just worry about this week and see what unfolds in the back end of the year.”
AFL ROUND 17
- WHAT: Hawks v Lions
- WHEN: Saturday 1.45pm
- WHERE: UTAS Stadium