'DON'T write us off'.
That's the message from Hawthorn despite the popular belief the recent three-time premiers are set for a fall in 2017.
"I haven't read too many papers over the summer because everyone's going to win the premiership in February and March," vice-captain Isaac Smith said on Wednesday.
"We're not too worried about that. We've been predicted to fall before and we haven't.
"We wouldn't be here if we didn't think we could be competitive.
"We're looking forward to the year, there's been some great energy around the club.
"We're looking forward to putting a strong season in."
That energy has come as a result of the Hawks' fresh recruits such as Jaegar O'Meara, Tom Mitchell and Ty Vickery, who have stepped in after the departure of veteran midfielders Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.
"Lewis and Mitchell were brilliant for the football club and we were very successful, but the way the new guys have come in … with the way they're attacking training at the moment, it looks like they'll be having a pretty successful career at Hawthorn as well," Smith said.
"There's been some great energy around the club, they've brought that in, but we've also got 'Roughy' [Jarryd Roughead] back and he's captain, and [we'll have] a new CEO as well.
"There's a lot of energy and fresh faces around, so it's a really good place to be at."Read: Hawthorn announce squad for JLT3
Smith said the promotion of popular figure Roughead as Luke Hodge's captaincy successor had also given the Hawks a boost, following the forward's 2016 cancer battle.
He expected Roughead to adopt a different leadership style to the one employed by Hodge in his reign from 2011 until the end of last season.
"We've got the happy, bubbly 'Roughy' back. It's brilliant to have him around and we definitely missed the energy in the change rooms, so it's good," Smith said.
"Roughy is his own man, 'Hodgey' led in the way that Hodgey led, and everyone knows Hodgey was such a tough and fierce competitor, and probably one of the most courageous to play the game.
"But Roughy has his own special qualities and we're looking forward to him using them."
After being voted into the leadership group for last season, Smith will join Liam Shiels as vice captain this year.
The 28-year-old, who will also take over from Lewis as the club's Audi ambassador, said he hadn't considered taking on the main role.
"My aspirations at the moment are to support Roughy and help him in anything that he needs," he said.
"Liam Shiels, along with myself, are willing to help out in any way, so we're right behind him and looking forward to it."