The Homecoming of Harry Morrison

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It was the end of the 2021 season, just before the trade period, and a small press release was sent out by the club with news of a one year contract extension that had been triggered by Harry Morrison. 

2021 had started so brightly for Harry, but an unfortunate hamstring injury in round 13 in the victory against the Swans at the SCG left Harry off the park for 2 months and in the mind of many supporters, precariously placed on the list. 

For the 23 year old, 2022 was going to be his make or break season in the Brown and Gold colours at Bunil Bagora.

Morrison was drafted in the 2016 draft with the 74th pick overall, which was Hawthorn’s first pick for the draft, after trading out their earlier picks that were exchanged for the services of Jaeger O’Meara, Tom Mitchell and Tyrone Vickory. 

Hawthorn had also let go of premiership heroes Jordan Lewis, Sam Mitchell and Bradley Hill after losing in straight sets in the chase for a fourth flag in a row. 

With the first pick being a speculative late pick in the 5th round, the Murray Bushranger product had big shoes to try and fill.

2017 saw Morrison honing his craft at Box Hill before earning his call up to the senior team in the round 23 game against the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium. 

The game would be the farewell for club legend Luke Hodge and in his first game, Morrison showed that he was capable of playing on the big stage, collecting 21 disposals and playing on a wing.

2018 saw Morrison playing 21 games as a regular in the side and saw him become an integral part of the charge to the finals. 

Harry Morrison of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 01 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Marvel...
Harry has averaged 19.3 disposals a game in 2022 | Getty Images

His highlight came in the 4th quarter of the Round 23 game against the Swans at the SCG, for a guaranteed double chance in the finals. 

Harry chased down Nic Newman, causing him to miss his kick, before Morrison picked it up and kicked truly, cutting the lead to a single kick. 

This was the catalyst for bringing belief to the team and with two late goals to Ricky Henderson and Jarryd Roughead, Morrison was to experience his first final series. 

2019 saw Morrison given the number one jumper, which had been worn by his late godfather, Hawthorn premiership player and former coach, Ken Judge. 

Unfortunately, 2019 and 2020 saw Morrison play a combined total of 20 games and he was unable to hold his place in the seniors. 

He was too good at Box Hill but not playing consistently enough in the senior side. 

2022 was going to be the make or break season, with Harry only having received a contract extension to the end of this year. 

Harry so far this season has made every post a winner. He has played 13 games, having missed only one game this year and that was a late withdrawal for the game against Melbourne. 

Harry Morrison of the Hawks looks on during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL Training Session at Waverley Park on June 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
Will Harry stay a Hawk in 2023? | Getty Images

He has made the wing position his own this year and has seen a career high in his average disposal, being just shy of 20 disposals per game and is sitting 6th in the Hawthorn team for rebound 50’s, showing how he has increased his tank to work back and help out the defenders. 

He is ranked in the elite category for marks per game, averaging 5.7 marks per game. He is pushing forward as well and has become a more reliable kick for goal. 

So what does the future hold for young Harry? 

At season’s end, he is out of contract, but with a strong showing so far to date this year and with his ability to play wing, half back and half forward, it must only be a matter of time before we hear about a multi year contract renewal for the young Hawk. 

There’s no doubt about how much he’s relishing his time at Waverley Park under the tutelage of Sam Mitchell.


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