'Dougie' the perfect fit at Tigerland
DOUG Hawkins, the former-Footscray champion and AFL Hall of Fame legend, is a man who enjoyed lofty levels of public approval.
Such a man of the people was Dougie, he even ran for the senate.
After winning the Tweed Coast Tiger's best and fairest in just his first year at the club, Daniel Hawkins, the man known around Seabreeze Oval as 'Dougie', is already starting to reach such levels of popularity as that man he is affectionately named after.
Hawkins was named the QFA Northern Rivers best and fairest player earlier this month, backing up the honour with the Tweed Tigers' best player gong just a week later.
A carpenter from Cabarita, Hawkins, the former/captain coach at Tweed/Coolangatta Blues and three-time premiership player at Southport, left the Blues at the end of 2017 to wind-down into his footballing twilight with the Tigers.
But at 35-years-of-age and with plenty of miles on the odometer, Hawkins is showing no signs of slowing down.
Playing in the midfield and demonstrating his versatility when pushing forward or back to plug any gaps, Hawkins was the back-bone of the Tigers in 2018.
Playing in 16 games, Hawkins kicked 16 goals and was named among the best players in 11 matches throughout the season, with six best-on-grounds.
Hawkins ultimately saved his best until last, when he nearly dragged the Tigers to the grand final by kicking four final-quarter goals against Ballina, only for his side to fall short by two points.
After sweeping awards season, the Tweed Daily News caught up with 'Dougie' to find out a little more about his footballing background and discover the secrets to his success.
Where did you play your junior footy?
I grew up in Tasmania on the east coast in a place called Triabunna, and that's where I played juniors. I then went to Hobart and played state league footy for North Hobart.
When did you move to the Gold Coast and where have you played your footy?
I moved up here when I was 19 and started off at the Coolangatta Blues for two years. Then I went up to Southport for four years, back to Cooly, and now I'm with the Tigers.
After such a strong season do you think you'll keep playing for a few more years yet?
I think so. You're a long time retired. So as long as my body is holding up I think I'll keep trying to play.
What was behind your great form this season?
Honestly, I think working away a lot and not having to train two nights a week helped...the body was feeling really good during the year.
You seemed to push out of the midfield and deploy yourself in attack and defence where needed this season. Is that a typical role you've played over the years?
I've been a bit of a utility wherever I've gone. I played a lot of footy down back when I was younger and the later years I've played through the midfield. Wherever a hole is needed to be filled I'm willing to put my hand up.
The preliminary final showed you might be a weapon up forward if you're left there. Could that be on the cards next season?
Maybe. Depends if Phelpsy wants to run through the midfield a bit more I'd say.
How did you find your first year with the Tigers?
I love this club. After one year I feel like I've been here for four or five. I'm glad I made the move. I said at the presentation night that it really feels like my home club in Tassie where I grew up. It's a really family-friendly environment, and in the later part of your career that's what you're looking for.