Hawthorn stars Luke Breust and Ben McEvoy will both reach game 200 against Collingwood on Friday night. Although they both grew up in the country, they are very different people according to teammate Paul Puopolo.
When Luke Breust walked through the doors of Waverley Park after the 2009 rookie draft he was a scrawny little kid from the country.
Hailing from Temora in NSW, Luke came to the club with a rugby background and a really good sidestep!
To his credit, as he got older and progressed through the system, he worked hard on his body, became stronger and gave himself the best possible chance to have an AFL career.
On the contrary, when Ben McEvoy arrived to the club after the 2013 trade period he was an established player having been at St Kilda for five years.
His professionalism and the way he went about his football left an impression on our playing group.
‘Big Boy’ set an example in the way he was able to cover the ground as a ruckman and he quickly became one of the elite runners at our club.
Around the club, Luke can be known as a little bit of a pest. He’s been to known to play a few tricks on the boys and we often used to play gags on one another.
I was pretty ruthless in our pranks and I think I was eventually able to get the better of him by wearing him down! We ended up having a truce.
With Ben, my friendship is a little different.
He acts as more of a father figure towards the group and being a Dad himself that persona is on show around the club.
Despite both coming from the country they don’t have anything in common!
One still holds onto being a country boy while the other has become a true city slicker.
A country boy at heart, Ben can often be seen wearing a flannelette shirt.
Although he won’t wear it around the club, on the weekend it’s his go-to outfit.
With all three of us in the more senior stages of our careers we’ve formed strong bonds.
As you spend more time together and play more games as a group your bond becomes really strong, particularly when you’ve been able to experience the success that we have as a group.
Luke and I have been part of Hawthorn’s small forward squad for nine years now, forming a connection on the field that’s led to some incredible memories which stand out when we reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve as a team.
The side steps and the goals that he’s been able to kick over the years and he’s become known for have been sensational.
Away from football, my friendship with Ben has developed more as we both had our daughters within days of each other.
We support each other as we progress through fatherhood and our football careers.
Both players are well-respected members of Hawthorn and will be long after they retire.
Good luck in your 200th games Luke and Ben.