FULL back Brian Lake believes his inclusion to the Hawthorn side will not only strengthen his new side’s backline, but also the game of its gun forwards.
One of the game’s most respected backmen, Lake says he can assist power Hawk forwards Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead.
He believes standing opposed to the duo during training sessions at the Ricoh Centre will benefit not only his defensive game, but also the forwards’ one-on-one ability and is excited by the challenge.
“You want to be training against the best, and coming into a side now that has two of the best guys in Buddy and Roughie is beneficial,” he told hawthornfc.com.au
“Buddy loves to run around and get up the ground and use his endurance, I guess an area I can help him with is his contested marking.
“He’s got coaches here that do that but hopefully I too can help improve his game in that area.”
“Being able to train with these guys…doing a lot of one-on-one work with them on the track will no doubt help me improve my game but hopefully help improve theirs with my knowledge of using the body during the game as well.”
Lake began his pre-season as soon as a deal was struck between the Hawks and the Bulldogs, training at the Ricoh Centre on the Tuesday after official paperwork was lodged with the AFL.
Now entrenched in the Hawks’ inner sanctum, the 30 year old is looking forward to getting back to basics and putting a challenging two years in 2011 and 2012 behind him.
“I probably put a little bit of pressure on myself at the Bulldogs, when you’ve got a lot of young guys around you, you probably take more responsibility on yourself,” he said.
“For me now, it’s just going back to the basics of football, I don’t have to try and hit the hard kick all the time because I’ve got Matt Suckling and Grant Birchall right next to me to use the ball.
“I don’t need to be doing anything fancy.”
The foot skills of his new teammates is something that impressed the former Bulldog throughout his time at his old club and admits there was a lot to like about the Hawks from afar in 2012.
“The ability to use the ball by foot (impressed me),” he said.
“I saw a lot of things I liked – the dangerous forward line that we have with Buddy, Roughie and Cyril down there.
“But also the midfield who are able to go both ways, attacking and defence.
“Even the backline is a very even set up down there where guys like to come third-man in and support.”
Lake was traded to the Hawks along with selection 29 in the draft on the opening day of the 2012 trade period for the Hawks’ first round pick, number 21 in the National Draft.