Hawthorn forward Calsher Dear will make his AFL debut on Sunday against the Western Bulldogs - 37 years after his father Paul's first game in the brown and gold.

Dear was drafted to the Hawks last November as the 56th overall pick in the National Draft as a father-son selection, with his late father a premiership player and Norm Smith Medal winner from the club's 1991 flag.

The teenager is a 195cm attacker who boasts athletic and aerial strengths as a forward target, with Dear booting nine goals to start his first year with the Hawks at VFL level to press his case for an early debut.

With coach Sam Mitchell without senior forwards Mitch Lewis and Mabior Chol through injury and suspension respectively, Dear has earned a place in Hawthorn's side for their Round 8 clash at Marvel Stadium.

“There is no doubt that playing your first game at AFL level is a truly special moment, the energy and excitement it creates for the player and all those closest to them is obvious. This weekend Calsher gets to experience this wonderful emotion as he pulls on the brown and gold for the first time just as his father, Paul did in 1987,” Hawthorn football boss Rob McCartney said in a club announcement.

“Calsher has strung together some impressive games for Box Hill in the first 5 games of the season, displaying his unique aerial skills in attack, whilst consistently hitting the scoreboard.

Calsher Dear of the Hawthorn Hawks at pre-season training, 2024 (image via Hawthorn FC)

“As an 18-year-old key-position player we know Calsher is a developing talent and whilst we need to be patient we're excited to see him take his first step  at AFL level.”

Dear becomes the Hawks' second debutant of 2024, following fellow first-year forward Nick Watson in pulling on the Hawthorn jumper for the first time this year.

Hawthorn will confirm its 23-man squad on Friday evening, with Josh Ward, Massimo D'Ambrosio, Watson and pre-season recruit Ethan Phillips all named as potential inclusions.

Young defender Jai Serong joins Chol in being omitted from Mitchell's side for this weekend.