Irish recruit Ciaran Kilkenny has walked out on the club after he admitted he didn't want to be in a situation where he was not 100 per cent committed and happy in himself.
Kilkenny, 19, played both hurling and Gaelic football for Dublin and had been regarded as a potential star in both Irish codes.
The Hawks signed Kilkenny after an outstanding debut senior season for Dublin where he received a starting spot for Dublin in an All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park.
Hawthorn signed Kilkenny as an international rookie and the promising gun had been with the club since November.
The Hawks recruiting manager Graham Wright said they were saddened by Kilkenny's decision but the club understood his feelings on returning home.
“Ciaran transitioned into the club well, enjoyed all aspects of training and all of his feedback was positive, so news of his decision was quite unexpected, " Wright told hawthornfc.com.au.
“We understand that ultimately the pull of home in Ireland.
"His family, friends, football and hurling was a significant factor in Ciaran’s decision, which was easier to accept having acknowledged that our club and its members demand a degree of commitment and dedication from every player on the Hawthorn list."
Kilkenny released a statement to explain his reasons on leaving Hawthorn, saying the satisfaction he would get from success playing hurling or Gaelic football far outweighs what he would receive from AFL.
He explained that he thoroughly enjoyed his time in Australia and was appreciative to the Hawthorn for the opportunity they gave him.
"As much as I enjoyed the lifestyle of a professional Aussie rules player and relished the challenge of achieving in a different code, I realised that it would never matter as much to me as the sense of community and joy I get from togging out and playing alongside the people with whom I grew up and live," Kilkenny said.
“Achieving success and realising my potential as a hurler and footballer with my club and county will always be more important to me than any of the benefits to be obtained from professional sport.
“I’ve come to realise also that although I enjoy the game of Australian Rules football, it could never replace the satisfaction I get from the round ball or a sliotar (hurling ball).
“Sport has always been something I did for enjoyment and I have found that it’s not something I can do merely because it’s my job.
"The passion I feel for hurling and football is not transferrable to any other sport and seeing my neighbours and team mates happy when we do well is reward enough.”