DEBUTANT: James Blanck breaks through

DEBUTANT: James Blanck breaks through

Hawthorn will blood its fifth debutant for season 2022, with mid-season draftee James Blanck picked to play his first game against the Western Bulldogs this Friday night.

Blanck joined the club just three weeks ago, after the Hawks nabbed the 21-year-old with Pick 20 in the mid-season rookie draft.

The big-bodied defender spent the last three seasons at Box Hill, including last year under now-Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell.

Standing at 195cm tall, Blanck’s quality has shone through in recent outings at VFL level, with his impressive athleticism and dour defending.

Blanck becomes the second Box Hill product to make his debut for Hawthorn in as many seasons, after Jai Newcombe made the jump from the same path 12 months ago.

Head of Football Rob McCartney said Blanck’s debut has been built on hard work.

“It’s very exciting for James to earn this opportunity so soon after joining the club,” McCartney said.

“Having worked hard at his craft at Box Hill across several seasons, James has developed his game to a level where we are confident he can impact at AFL level.

“He brings an exciting skill-set into the side, including a strong capacity to compete through the air to nullify his opponents.

“We are looking forward to seeing him play his role against a really polished Western Bulldogs outfit under lights on Friday.”

Blanck will be the fifth Hawk to debut under Sam Mitchell this year, following Josh Ward, Connor Macdonald, Jackson Callow and Sam Butler.

The full team for Friday night’s showdown with the Dogs will be released at 6.20pm on Thursday via hawthornfc.com.au.

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