‘Worpedo’ wants to be a Hawk for life
Emerging midfielder James Worpel has declared he wants to play his entire career at Hawthorn after signing a new two-year deal.
Worpel, 19, has agreed to a contract extension to remain at Waverley Park until at least the end of 2021.
His re-signing follows an impressive debut season in which he became an important member of coach Alastair Clarkson's midfield alongside the likes of superstar Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara.
"It's a club I love and hopefully I get to spend the rest of my career here," Worpel said.
"The vibe around the club at the moment is really good.
"I'm really settling in Melbourne now. I've got a house and I'm living with a couple of the boys and I'm loving the Melbourne lifestyle.
"Hawthorn have given me an opportunity and I can't thank them enough."
Worpel played 11 games last year but looked every bit an accomplished player.
He had a breakout game against Carlton in Round 18 when he gathered 32 disposals before starring against Geelong, earning six votes coach's votes.
The No.45 pick in the 2017 national draft is expected to take on more midfield responsibility this year following Mitchell's likely season-ending injury.
Mitchell broke his leg in two places in a training mishap last month.
"There is an opportunity for us younger boys but it's just more about my consistency now and trying to hold that spot in that 22," Worpel told the club's website.
"But there's other boys like James Cousins and Harry Jones coming through, so it's going to be competitive to find that one spot (in the midfield) left but we'll see how we go."
Hawthorn has high hopes for Worpel, handing him the club's famous No.5 guernsey, worn previously by the likes of premiership captain Sam Mitchell and club legend Peter Crimmins for this season.
"James is a talented young player with an exciting future ahead of him," Hawks football boss Graham Wright said.
"He had some big moments in 2018. He demonstrated his ability to perform at the elite level and he certainly doesn't shy away from the contest.
"We're looking forward to watching his development over the coming years."