Hawkins is the pattern for Giant
AFL: GWS Giants forward Jonathan Patton will keep using Geelong star Tom Hawkins as inspiration as he continues his quest to be a star of the competition.
Patton will play his 50th game against fellow expansion club the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium tonight after a checkered start to his career.
The key forward has battled three major knee surgeries in his five seasons in the AFL but his numbers still stack up well against Hawkins.
The Cats star has three premierships to his name but started his AFL journey slowly.
He kicked three goals in the 2011 grand final win over Collingwood and has booted 265 goals in 104 games at 2.5 per game since.
Patton has 56 goals, with a 25-goal haul in 2014 his best effort so far and said he had always kept a close eye on Hawkins' career.
"Tom (Hawkins) had an amazing finals series that year, especially the grand final,” he said.
"I think young key forwards can look at something like that and know that it's not always about you not being good enough, it's just about being patient sometimes.
"All key forwards take longer to develop and obviously I've had some injuries that have hindered that and I haven't been out there to play.
"I'm playing a bit of catch-up and I'm getting there, but still have a lot of things to improve on.”
Patton said he was completely over his knee problems and was looking forward to his 18th game of the season, a career-high mark he also reached in 2014, the same year he tore the ACL in his right knee for the second straight season.
"Footy is a confidence game and whatever field you're in you have to have confidence,” he said.
"That just comes with games, training and having a pre-season.
"I'm feeling great out there, I'm just thinking about my role and nothing else, and it's good to be back in that state of mind.”