THEY say a change is as good as a holiday.
For new Hawk Jack Fitzpatrick, that definitely rings true.
After six years as a Demon, the 24-year-old ruckman-forward made the move to Waverley Park at the end of last year and is starting to settle into life as a Hawk.
Now two months into the pre-season program, Fitzpatrick said he was enjoying his new challenge.
“It’s been pretty tough (pre-season training), but I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” he said.
“They say a change is as good as a holiday, and obviously it’s a whole different environment for me – I’ve just tried to embrace it all.”
Developing his footy has been a focus, but building relationships with new teammates and coaches has been just as important.
Getting away to Mooloolaba for 10 days before Christmas was a golden opportunity to get to know everyone.
“I only knew two people before I came here, so it’s not only the footy side of things, but also about trying to build relationships and get to know other people,” Fitzpatrick said.
“That’s just as much a focus for me as the actual footy stuff. I’m still trying to learn the ropes with where everything is and who to go to for certain things.
“I found the training camp was a really good time for myself and the draftees to really integrate into the group.
“It was a really good chance to start to build those relationships… I roomed with KB (Kaiden Brand) and Mitch (Sam Mitchell), so I started to build good relationships with those guys and tried to branch out from there.”
The versatile big man, who has played 22 AFL games during his career, has spent time training with both the forward and ruck groups.
He said his focus had been on completing as many sessions as possible – while there had been a real focus not just on tough training sessions, but also quality.
“For me, the next few weeks and months is about completing as much training as I can,” Fitzpatrick said.
"The more you can do that, the more it helps build those relationships on the field and it helps integrate into the game plan more, particularly the match play stuff.
“It’s easy to know the game plan where you write it up on the whiteboard and work out where people should be, but actually getting out there and doing it is a completely thing."