Tatupu leaves as Hawk's Kiwi dream fades
Tuesday, March 15 2016 @ 09:05 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Shem Tatupu has advised Hawthorn that his interests lie away from Aussie rules footy. Coming to the club full time two years ago after a period as an international scholarship holder, Tatupu struggled with injury for quite some time.
The second half of last season brought great hope however and he finished the year strongly with VFL runners up Box Hill playing as a stay at home key forward. But after a solid preseason that seemed to see his game sense and mobility continue to improve, he has called it quits after failing to gain a start in the senior team in the preseason competition.
On the Hawthorn website Hawthorn GM – Football Operations Chris Fagan said the club understood and accepted Tatupu’s decision. “This has been a tough decision for Shem to make. We have been really impressed with the way in which he has applied himself over the past two years and he has made some positive progress,” said Fagan.
“However, after much consultation with the club, Shem has decided that the passion for AFL football is no longer there. “Shem was a highly regarded rugby league and union player growing up and he is going to explore his opportunities in that area. “There is no doubt Shem is a talented athlete and all at Hawthorn Football Club wish him well for the future.”
After a period where Hawthorn put in a lot of serious time and effort into developing and unearthing talent in NZ, only Kurt Heatherley remains as the product of that work. He is on the senior list in 2016, but does not look a walk up start for the senior team this season and his debut may still be a way off.