The Border Watch : March 25th 2014
42 SPORT Dream start for O’Brien MORRIS ROD email@example.com WHEN Tim O’Brien last played football with West Gambier, he was 17 years-old, stood 194cm and weighed in at 77kg. Last Saturday – six days shy of his 20th birthday – O’Brien made his AFL debut with reigning premiers, Hawthorn and his personal statistics – according to the AFL – list him as 193cm and 83kg. Whatever the stats may be, doesn’t really matter. What does count however is the impact O’Brien had with the Hawks in the opening round match of the 2014 season against the Brisbane Lions at Launceston’s Aurora Stadium (formerly known as York Park). O’Brien was originally named on the interchange bench for the Hawks but was in the starting XVIII and he repaid his faith to the Hawthorn coaching staff with a goal from his first kick in the “AFL big time.” From just outside 50m, kicking to the Mowbray (Northern) end of the ground, O’Brien calmly slotted it through for his and the Hawks’ first goal of the afternoon. According to AFL records, O’Brien is the 90th player of all time to kick a goal with his first kick and the ninth from Hawthorn to do so, joining the likes of club legends, Michael Tuck and Leigh Matthews. Once the Sherrin sailed through the big sticks, O’Brien was immediately mobbed by his new Hawthorn senior teammates, including gun forward, Jarryd Roughead. O’Brien left West Gambier at the end of the 2011 season after representing the Western Border Football League Kangaroos in backto-back premierships in 2010-11. In 2012, O’Brien played with Glenelg in the SANFL where he was eventually drafted to Hawthorn as the No. 28 selection in the 2012 NAB Draft. O’Brien was Hawthorn’s first selection in that year’s draft. O’Brien was set to be drafted to the Adelaide Crows, but that club was stripped of its first and second draft picks because of the Kurt Tippett – Sydney Swans saga, paving the way for the Hawks to swoop on the tall red head. Last season, O’Brien played with Hawthorn’s VFL affiliate, Box Hills and was a member of that club’s premiership team. Ear marked as a key forward of the future, O’Brien has been rewarded with one of the VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au Big Red scores goal with first kick in AFL SHOWER TIME: Hawthorn debutants (from left) Derick Wanganeen, Tim O’Brien (ex-West Gambier) and Ben McEvoy receive the nowtraditional post game cordial shower. most famous jumper numbers in Hawthorn’s rich history, No. 23. Recently vacated by Lance “Buddy” Franklin, who sensationally transferred to the Sydney Swans after the summer and playing in his second Hawthorn premiership, the No. 23 at the Hawks has also been worn by such luminaries as Dermott Brereton, Don Scott and John Peck. Needless to say, O’Brien has big shoes to fill. Judging on Saturday’s form however, O’Brien is sure to add plenty of support to Roughead, Luke Breust and Jack Gunston on the Hawthorn forward line this season. O’Brien was one of three new Hawthorn players in Round 1, joining former St Kilda ruckman, Ben McEvoy and rookie listed South Australian, Derick Wanganeen. O’Brien was subbed-off at three quarter time to allow Wanganeen a run. O’Brien, McEvoy and Wanganeen were all showered by red cordial at the post-match celebrations. It is understood that O’Brien is the fifth West Gambier player to have competed at senior VFL/AFL level, joining John Yeates (Geelong, 1959-65), Mark Yeates (Geelong 1980-86 and 1987-90), Robin White (Melbourne 1985-87) and Matthew Clarke Brisbane 1993-99, Adelaide (2000-06 and St Kilda 2007). FIRST KICK SUCCESS: Former West Gambier dual premiership player, Tim O’Brien (second from right) kicked a goal with his first kick in the AFL last Saturday, opening Hawthorn’s account against the Brisbane Lions at Launceston’s Aurora Stadium. Pictures: courtesy AFL Media 42 - The Border Watch, Tuesday, March 25, 2014 FIRST TO CONGRATULATE: Hawthorn full forward Jarryd Roughead was first on the scene congratulate former West Gambier ruckman, Tim O’Brien on his first kick in the AFL which resulted in a goal.
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