AFL: James Sicily signs five-year deal with Hawthorn

James Sicily has been spoken about as Hawthorn’s next captain and his new contract will help his cause.

James Sicily’s ascension to Hawthorn captain moved a step closer after the All-Australian defender turned his back on free agency and signed a five-year contract extension.

The new deal ties Sicily, who has been one of two stand-in Hawthorn skippers in 2022 with Ben McEvoy sidelined, to the club until the end of 2027, which effectively makes the 27-year-old a Hawk for life.

“I have a great sense of belonging here and I couldn’t really see myself anywhere else,” Sicily said.

“I found the period of being off-contract stressful and a little bit unsettling.

“To be able to fully invest in my teammates and not myself anymore is a good feeling. “

Sicily said he was “very happy” with the vision of new coach Sam Mitchell despite the Hawks losing four games in a row after a solid opening to his first season in charge.

After missing the second half of the 2020 season and all of 2021 due to a knee injury, Sicily has returned to his All-Australian form this season.

Having watched on as a young player as Hawthorn won three straight premierships from 2013-15, Sicily wants to take the new breed of Hawks to the same success.

“I want to be able to have memories with the guys who are here now to play in big games and big finals and win silverware,” he said.

Sicily has played 102 games since joining Hawthorn in the 2013 national draft and Hawthorn list manager Mark McKenzie said Sicily had grown into a crucial player for the club.

“We couldn’t be happy to make James a Hawk for life with this contract extension,” he said.

“This deal demonstrates James’ strong commitment to the club as he continues to develop his leadership capabilities.”

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