Sicily comfortable with progress of contract talks with Hawthorn

Hawthorn free agent James Sicily is confident an agreement will be reached for him to remain at the Hawks beyond this season as he wins plaudits from his new coach for his leadership.

The 27-year-old defender has made a brilliant return from the knee injury that sidelined him last season and took nine marks in the first quarter against Geelong on his way to earning nine coaches votes.

James Sicily contract talks are progressing.Credit:AFL Photos

His management is in discussions with the club about a new contract that could lock him in as a one-club player. Sicily is one of the game’s best defenders and a likely future captain.

Sicily said there was no rush to sign as details were worked through, but he was confident discussions were tracking in the right direction, with all parties comfortable at the rate they were progressing.

“I think it’ll get done, in due time. [We’re] sort of working through it now. [We are] not in a hurry,” Sicily said.

The 27-year-old said he was enjoying being a leader in defence, and he had continued to mature during his time recovering from the ruptured ACL that he suffered midway through 2020.

“I think I’ve become a little bit more mature and am able to not be so hot-headed and be more approachable and sort of direct and defer what I’m seeing in the game to the other guys to help calm them down, establish the patterns and get them settled,” Sicily said.

Sam Mitchell said Sicily’s strong start to the season was evident but less well know was the overall contribution he made to the team’s performance.

“As a coach, I like having him out there because I can always discuss the game with him. He doesn’t just look at what his job is. He’s got a really strong football mind,” Mitchell said.

“He sees the game in the bigger picture and he’s got that understanding of what may need to happen to put the odds in our favour as far as the way the game is being played.”

Sicily has been earmarked as a likely successor to Ben McEvoy as captain and Mitchell has endorsed his leadership.

“He’s really maturing as an individual, as a leader and as a teammate so the ability to be able to talk to him on the bench and call on him to lead different aspects of the game has been pleasing,” Mitchell said.

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