Geelong forward Tom Hawkins' burgeoning confidence will rise to a new level after his match-winning heroics against Hawthorn, assistant coach Blake Caracella believes.
The powerful 24-year-old booted six goals, including the clincher from 55m on the siren, as the Cats extended their winning run over the Hawks to nine matches with Friday night's stunning 18.10 (118) to 17.14 (116) victory at the MCG.
Hawkins is among the the AFL's form key forwards, after kicking 14 goals in the past three rounds.
It lifted him to 47 for the season, just four behind Hawthorn's injured star Lance Franklin, who led the Coleman Medal race at the start of the round.
Hawkins has been wayward at times when shooting for goal, kicking 1.3 in Geelong's loss to Collingwood three weeks ago.
But Caracella said his hot recent form was starting to mirror what the Cats had been seeing at training for some time.
"Tommy's been kicking well for near on three months now," Caracella said.
"He's had his issues over the last two or three years and he's worked on those.
"He got through but I guess it's taken a while to translate into games as well and he's gaining more confidence.
"You can see probably his last four or five games he's kicked quite well."
Caracella said nailing the match-winning shot against the Hawks would reinforce that self-belief.
"It was very important for Hawk's confidence," he said.
"As I said, he's been building more and more confidence for some time and that really is going to be fantastic for him."
Caracella said the win over the Hawks, Geelong's third over a top eight side in as many matches, confirmed their building form as the season's business end approaches.
"The last nine or 10 weeks we've lost two games and one was to Sydney by less than a kick and we've had one bad game against the Magpies," Caracella said.
"But I think (the win over Hawthorn) probably guarantees that we've got a lot of momentum towards the finals."