Assistant Coach Brett Ratten has his eyes set on reigning Peter Crimmins Medallist, Sam Mitchell.
Since beginning his role at the Hawks, Ratten has been keen to sit down with the champion midfielder, and challenge him to take his game to the next level.
Mitchell enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2012, finishing equal second in the Brownlow Medal, claiming his fourth Club best and fairest and topped Club stats for disposals, tackles and clearances.
But Ratten can see ways to improve the 30 year old’s game, to keep his output fresh and to ensure his longevity in the game.
“All players can keep learning and it will be for me, to challenge Sam in the way he plays and where’s the next bit of growth for Sam Mitchell,” Ratten told hawthornfc.com.au
“Is it going to play away from the stoppages, some of those things I would like to challenge him on about keeping his longevity in the game.
“For a player of his skill and who hasn’t had many injuries touch wood, we want him to start to do other things in the game.
“What can he do in the centre square to change his game a little bit to make him a better player. “
The former Carlton coach rates Mitchell’s in-and-under game highly, but is looking to bring some of his own knowledge and expertise to take it to the next level.
“What he does around the ball is as good as I’ve seen,” Ratten said.
“We’ll just try and add something different to his game.”
Mitchell averaged 27 disposals in 24 matches to be one of Hawthorn’s most consistent performers in 2012.
The Hawks open its pre-season campaign on the Gold Coast on Saturday 23 February when it takes on Gold Coast and Brisbane at Metricon Stadium.