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All I want for Christmas is...

Mirra reflects on a whirlwind few days David Mirra is still buzzing following the call up to the rookie list.

With this year’s festive season fast approaching, takes a look below at the ten gifts Hawks fans would be most excited to receive ahead of the 2018 AFL season.

A fully fit Cyril Rioli
After managing just seven games in 2017 due to a posterior-cruciate ligament injury, Rioli looks set to return to peak-fitness ahead of next season. Hawks fans will be hoping the four-time premiership hawk can get back to the electrifying form he showcased in 2016 when he kicked a career high 47 goals.

Gunston and Burton into attack
Used mainly in defence in 2017, Jack Gunston and Ryan Burton look likely to boost the Hawks’ scoring power due to the return of key defensive personnel. Gunston has spent the majority of his 149-game career in attack, kicking 290 goals, while Rising Star runner-up Burton’s marking ability and x-factor could be a scary proposition closer to goal.    

A full season for Jaeger O’Meara
O’Meara made just six appearances in the brown and gold during his first season for the Hawks after being troubled by knee injuries. Returning for the final two rounds of 2017 O’Meara finished the year strongly and will be eyeing a full season next year to give Hawks fans more than a glimpse of his talents.

Read more: Top ten target - is it possible?

A first glimpse at Jarman Impey
Their sole acquisition in the trade period, Jarman Impey is set to excite Hawks fans in 2018 with his speed and ferocious attack on the ball. Impey looks set to be utilised both in attack and defence next season, with time through the midfield also on the cards.

Draftee debuts
Having secured six new faces at November’s National and Rookie drafts, Hawks fans will be hoping for a glimpse of the future with the AFL debuts of some of the playing group’s latest additions. Strongly-built midfielder James Worpel, who was the Hawks’ first pick at the National Draft, appears the most likely to step up to the AFL next year, while mature-age rookie David Mirra could also be ready to go.

Roughead to crack the Hawks’ top five goalkickers
Currently sitting sixth on the Hawks’ list of all-time leading goal kickers, a return of 52 goals in 2018 would see Jarryd Roughead jump into the top five ahead of former teammate Lance Franklin. Roughead currently boasts a career tally of 529 and will need to deliver his best return since his 2014 effort of 75 to do so.

Return of Jonathon Ceglar
Fully recovered from the torn ACL that sidelined him for the entire 2017 campaign, Ceglar is set to strengthen the Hawks’ ruck stocks and challenge Ben McEvoy for the number one role. Hawks fans will be hoping he can return to the form that saw him play 19 games in 2016.

Read more: Dunstall a legend in all eyes

A run of luck for Jono O’Rourke
O’Rourke has suffered persistent injuries during his time at Hawthorn, playing just seven games across the past two seasons, and Hawks fans will be hoping the former number two draft pick is able to get a clear run at trying to cement a place in the Hawks’ 22.

A dozen milestones
Shaun Burgoyne’s 350th AFL game headlines a dozen milestones Hawks fans will be hoping to witness in season 2018, with the triple-premiership Hawk set to become just the 16th player in VFL/AFL history to do so. Grant Birchall is set to celebrate his 250th game for the Hawks, while Cyril Rioli and James Frawley will likely chalk up their 200th.  

2018 finals berth
The thing Hawks fans are likely to be hoping for more than anything in 2018 is a return to finals. After missing out on September action this year for the first time since 2009, supporters will be desperate for a top-eight finish, and from there anything could be possible.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs