Kurt Heatherley may have already played for one Hawks team, but now he has the opportunity to play his first match as a professional AFL player with the Hawthorn Hawks.
Heatherley, who was born in Tauranga, was signed to the Hawthorn Hawks on an International Scholarship in 2009. His background is in cricket, basketball, rugby and athletics.
Kurt Heatherley has also represented New Zealand at AFL, playing for the New Zealand Hawks in 2012 against the AIS AFL Academy. He has also been part of New Zealand age group representative teams including the Under 16 NZ Hawks in 2010 and 2011, and played for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup.
A versatile and competitive player, Heatherley has been named in the squad for the first Hawthorn Hawks match of the year, against the Brisbane Lions in the NAB Challenge.
New Zealand viewers can watch all NAB Challenge matches on Sommet Sports. A full schedule can be found here:
Heatherley will have the opportunity over the course of the season to play a role with the club, in his first season on the list.
The spot in the Hawthorn Hawks squad is a reward for many years of hard work, which included surgery to correct an issue with his hips.
Hawthorn recently elevated Heatherley from being an International Scholarship holder to their International Rookie List.
Fellow New Zealander Shem Tatupu, who was also elevated after being an International Scholarship holder, has joined him on the International Rookie List.
Another New Zealander could one day join them on the field for the Hawthorn Hawks. Siope Ngata is a current International Scholarship holder with the club.
The Hawthorn Football Club is heavily involved with AFL in New Zealand, sponsoring both the junior and senior Secondary School AFL competitions. Regional Cluster Tournaments for the Senior Hawks Cup will begin in late February.