Finn Maginness knew the Hawks were going to match any bid for him. But that didn’t reduce his nerves when North Melbourne tried to pinch the father-son prospect last Thursday night.
Hawthorn national recruiting manager Mark McKenzie had called the son of two-time premiership defender Scott Maginness earlier in the day to ease his nerves, but it took longer than expected for the Hawks to restore order after the Kangaroos made a play for the Sandringham Dragons midfielder.
The Hawks acquired the 18-year-old after matching the bid at Pick 29, making him only the fourth father-son selection in the club’s history after Josh Kennedy – who he has drawn comparisons to – Travis Tuck and Steven Greene.
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Maginness has brown and gold blood coursing through his veins. His father played 131 games for the club between 1988 and 1998, including two flags in his first two seasons, while his grandfather, Norm Maginness, played 64 games for the club in the 1950s.
“I’ve gone for Hawthorn my whole life,” Maginness told reporters at Waverley Park on his first official day as a Hawk on Monday afternoon.
“Dad played and my grandpa played as well. It has been in the family blood for a while now. My grandpa was lost for words; he was crying so it was pretty big for the family.”
While the Scotch College product was all but certain to get picked up before the AFL Combine in October, his testing that week cemented his status in the draft pool.
He finished second in the 2km time-trial around the Holden Centre, stopping the clock at 5.51 – 13 seconds faster than the previous record – ran the sixth-fastest time in the 20m sprint and came equal seventh in the Yo-Yo test.
“I’ve done a bit of athletics in the past. I knew that was a chance for me to show what I can do so I was really happy to perform,” he said.
“I set myself for a while so I’d done a bit of training and really used that couple of weeks before the combine to try and get as in good a shape as I could.”
While Hawthorn’s first-round pick, Will Day, walked into the club for the first time on Monday morning, after moving over from Adelaide and in with star forward Luke Breust over the weekend, Maginness is familiar with the people and the set-up inside the Hawthorn Football Club.
He has trained at the Hawks in the past and even completed a 10-day camp in Mooloolaba with the club this time last year, where he got to take a comprehensive peek behind the curtains.
“The players were so professional. I watched a few of the midfielders, James Worpel, Jaeger O’Meara, Tom Mitchell and they do all the little things that really add up. It made me realise how much of a difference that makes,” he said.
“I also learned that the players are just normal people. You watch AFL and see the players on TV and think they are super-human, but they are really not; they are just real people, so it was comforting seeing that.”