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From tagger to bull: Hickmott driven to succeed

Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 4:00 PM by Matt Paddick

When Subiaco won the 2021 WAFL Premiership, nine players were presented with their first League medal in an era of success.

One of those was Liam Hickmott, who said the success he's had has made him determined to find more at the Lions.

A product of Subiaco's development system, he told Subiacofc.com.au he first felt the winning sensation at Colts level.

"When we won it in 2018, it was the best feeling," he said.

"It made me want to drive a bit harder and push to win a flag at League level."

As a successful Colts player, a goal of his was to progress to the next stage and test his skills with the league side.

The midfielder won various accolades in the under 19s system, including the competition best and fairest, as well as the Taylor Medal in 2018.

He said the club's transition program has helped him develop further as a player.

"In my last year of Colts, we got to train with the League side to see what it's all about," Hickmott said.

"Straight away, we got to see how close the team is and how much work they put in."

He praised the club's willingness to reward strong performances at Colts level with seniors berths.

Hickmott made his league debut in the shortened 2020 season, playing th last three games of the season.

He filled the role of tagger in Subiaco's engine room early in his career, shutting down some of the competition's best players, including Claremont's Jye Botlon and South Fremantle's Hayden Schloithe. 

The 22-year-old said the run-with role has been a good learning experience.

"It was a role that had to be done and for me it was something I could do," he said.

"Tagging let me learn from some of the best players when you're playing against them.

"It's really helped with my footy and it's got me to where I am today."

Hickmott's development, as well as injuries to the Lions' engine room, has created an opportunity for him to flourish as a genuine ball winner.

The Sorrento-Duncraig product is averaging 20 disposals and eight tackles per game, with a season-high 28 touches in round five.

In round eight, he was named in the WAFL's Team of the Week, after amassing 27 possessions and a goal in the team's win over Perth.

He said while he's playing a different role, it's one he's enjoying.

"It's good to be able to touch the ball a bit more and to not have to follow an opponent around," Hickmott said.

"But at the end of the day, tagging is a role that needs to be filled and it's one I'm happy to play."

Liam is the son of Adrian Hickmott, who played in the AFL for Geelong and Carlton across 184 games.

He said his father has always been a good sounding board and has been important for his growth as a footballer.

"He's made me the player I am today, and I wouldn't play the footy I do without him," Hickmott said.

The 22-year-old also praised the club for an environment that has allowed him to flourish.

"It's been great to push myself against players like Kitch (Leigh Kitchin) and Horse (Kyal Horsley) when he was at the club," he said.

"They showed me tricks and strategies that I put into place, as well as pushing me to be better.

"It's team first: older players try to push the younger ones to get them up to the level as fast as possible."

Hickmott said the way the team gets around each other and pushes one another to be the best is one of the top traits of the club.

He said the winning culture of the Lions means the side will work hard to improve on their record this season and have success in the future.

"We can see that we're making progress and are heading in the right direction," Hickmott said.

"It was a good win on the weekend, and hopefully we can keep that going."