When Conor Nash first arrived in Australia to try his hand at Aussie Rules football, he didn’t see much game time. 

The Irishman worked his way up from the VFL, being tried as a half-back before transitioning to the forward line.

Then, Sam Mitchell, who was coaching Box Hill at the time, suggested Nash move into the midfield. 

From there, the 24-year-old got to work, using his running power and strength to cement a spot in Hawthorn’s midfield group.

It all started coming together last season when Nash played 21 games for the Hawks.

During that season, Mitchell described the midfielder’s role as more of a role player who got the job done.

This year, Nash has been one of Hawthorn’s most dominant midfielders, averaging 23.6 disposals, 5.4 tackles and 4.4 clearances. 

His past seven games have been nothing short of exceptional, gathering more than 26 disposals on each occasion, including two 30+ disposal performances.

Speaking on SEN’s Crunch Time, Nash said a new approach in mindset has enabled him to take his game to new heights.

“The last while, it’s probably been the coaches just reminding me of what I’m good at and focusing on my strengths,” the midfielder said.

“In the past, I’ve been hellbent on fixing my weaknesses a bit too much.

“That’s what I’ve been working on, just being that bigger unit inside and being able to attack the footy.”

Mitchell has been highly impressed with Nash’s work rate, including his willingness to continue to learn. 

The Hawks coach said his star midfielder’s rapid improvement hasn’t just come by chance. 

“I think the thing that you can’t underestimate with ‘Nashy’ is the strength of character that he has,” Mitchell said.

“Every single team that he ever played for in Ireland, he was the captain of.

“Now, he’s come over to a completely foreign game.

“He’s really proud of his heritage but he’s a guy that we know we can rely on, we always have.

“He probably got games in the past because we knew we could rely on him to get his job done. 

“He was never going to be the best player on the ground but he would get his job done and sometimes you need those players.

“But he’s become much more than that.

“It’s not by chance or by luck, it’s by the work ethic and the desire that he’s had to work on so many different aspects of his game.”