Fergus Greene has signed a one-year deal with Hawthorn. (Photo: hawthornfc.com.au; Design: Will Cuckson)

A major goalkicker at VFL level with the Box Hill Hawks, exciting forward Fergus Greene has been picked up by Hawthorn on the opening day of the delisted free agency period.

Greene’s arrival at Waverley Park represents a second chance at AFL football, with the 24-year-old previously playing five games for the Western Bulldogs after being drafted in 2016.

Now committed to a one-year-deal with Hawthorn, Greene will be hoping to put his best foot forward this pre-season and force his way into Sam Mitchell’s starting line-up.

What can Hawthorn fans expect from their new signing?

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Strong form at VFL level

There is no questioning Greene’s nous around goal. 53 goals from 17 games in 2022 saw him finish the VFL campaign as the second-leading goalkicker in the competition, propelling Box Hill to a finals berth.

Taking into account his 30 goals in nine appearances in 2021, Greene has averaged a healthy 3.2 majors throughout his time at Box Hill.

In 2022, the 188cm forward booted bags of five and four goals on three occasions, whilst also notching a six-goal haul against Werribee. Greene’s impressive feats culminated in being named in the VFL Team of the Year.

As a medium-sized forward, Greene is capable of influencing games both on the ground and in the air. His agility and leap allow him to fly for marks in contested situations, whilst his nimbleness at ground level has seen him kick some crafty goals.

Greene also doesn’t shy away from the big moments, highlighted by a last-gasp set-shot goal against Port Melbourne in Round 12 to win the game for his side. 

Added forward line depth

The departure of Jack Gunston to Brisbane during the trade period opens up a clear vacancy in the Hawthorn forward line.

Barring key forward Mitch Lewis, the other tall-medium forwards at the Hawks haven’t yet been able to solidify their position at AFL level. This means that Greene stands as a genuine prospect to make an instant impact, especially given he has already played under Sam Mitchell at Box Hill in 2021.

A further bonus for Greene and the Hawthorn coaching team is that he has also worked alongside many of his fellow forwards at VFL level. Jacob Koschitzke, Jai Serong, Sam Butler, and Connor MacDonald have all spent time in the VFL.

This familiarity should help in quickly establishing chemistry amongst the forward group.

Box Hill-Hawthorn connection

Greene’s signature continues a long-standing relationship between the Box Hill Hawks and Hawthorn. Sam Mitchell has actively played a major role in recruiting players from the Box Hill program in recent years, including the likes of Jai Newcombe, Lachlan Bramble, and James Blanck.

Newcome has been a revelation through the midfield, finishing runner-up in the Peter Crimmins Medal for 2022. Meanwhile, Bramble and Blanck continue to look more assured at AFL level with more games under their belt.

Reflecting even further back and Sam Mitchell himself was drafted from Box Hill, having initially been overlooked at the 2000 National Draft.

Mitchell will now be hoping that Greene will also add to the list of success stories to have emerged from Box Hill.

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