KEY defender Kurt Heatherley is hoping he can push for selection for the Hawks’ first NAB Challenge match against Carlton on Thursday week.
And his efforts in today’s match simulation session at Waverley Park won’t have done his chances any harm.
Playing alongside the likes of premiership backmen Josh Gibson and Ben Stratton, Heatherley looked at home holding down a key defensive post.
“It was good to have our first sort of main game with all the boys, our first real hit-out,” he said after today’s match-play session.
“It was pretty tough towards the end in that last quarter, I started blowing a bit, but it was good to be out there with the likes of Gibbo, Stratts and all those kind of guys in the back line.”
“I’m loving it… it’s great learning from all those kinds of guys who have won a few premierships and have a bit of experience under their belts.”
The 21-year-old New Zealander, who was promoted to the senior list at the end of last season, will no doubt have his eyes on the defensive post vacated by Brian Lake after 2015’s premiership win.
Heatherley said he was just hoping to continue his form on the track, and wants to put his best foot forward in the build up to the home-and-away season.
After a challenging pre-season to date, he says there’s a lot of excitement within the group about the matches coming up.
“It’s been pretty long, I think all the boys would say the same thing,” Heatherley said.
“I think we’re just looking forward getting into the games and the NAB Challenge, and hopefully I can get an opportunity for that and push forward.”
Hawthorn and Carlton kick off the NAB Challenge next Thursday the 18th of February and keep an eye on aflnz.co.nz for information regarding live coverage.