Jai Newcombe hasn't had to wait long for his football dream to come true after getting drafted with the second selection 2 in last weeks AFL Mid-Season draft.
Hailing from Gippsland Power, Newcombe was unable to prove himself in the 2020 underage season due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of the NAB league, however, since joining Hawthorn's VFL affiliate, Box Hill, in the off-season, Newcombe has impressed coaches and selectors with a strong line of form through the first half of the year.
The hard-bodied midfielder has averaged 23 disposals and seven tackles across his six games in the VFL, leading Hawthorn's Head of Football, Rob McCartney, to deem him ready for AFL level.
“We’ve seen a lot of Jai at Box Hill, and there’s been plenty to like," McCartney said.
“Before this weekend we weren’t able to promote him into our senior side, but he’s been in the sort of form that had he been on our list, he probably would have played earlier.
“He’s definitely earned his opportunity through strong form at VFL level, and we’re excited to see what he can bring to this young, developing group.”
The exciting inclusion of Newcombe will be Hawthorn's sixth debutant for 2021.
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The Hawks and the Swans will face off at the SCG at 7:50pm Friday night.
Full teams for round 13 will be released at 6:20pm tonight.