Jack Gunston says he is looking forward to reuniting with old teammates and being a part of an "exciting" Hawthorn forward line in 2024. 

It comes after the three-time premiership Hawk made a surprise return to the club during the recent Continental Tyres Trade Period after spending the 2023 season with Brisbane.

As Hawthorn's first to four year players returned for pre-season on Monday, Gunston said he was thrilled to make his way back to the brown and gold.

The 32-year-old will make his official start when 5+ year players make their return to pre-season training on Monday 27 November.

"It's really exciting, it was nice walking in to the club and seeing a lot of the boys again.. there were a lot of familiar faces," Gunston said.

"I've worked with a few of these guys before, so it will be nice to see how far they've progressed, I saw that on the field this year.

"A lot of them have since taken the next step and have been playing some good, consistent footy. I'm happy to be here and help, but I'm also looking forward to getting out there and performing and being there alongside them.

"There are still a lot new faces that I haven't met before, so it will be good to work with them and get to know them too."


After spending 11 seasons at Hawthorn prior to his departure to Brisbane, Gunston said despite moving up to Queensland, he still kept a watchful eye across the Hawks' 2023 season.

"Having played here so long, I could not have watched the games last season," Gunston added.

"The group was really competitive, they played a lot of good footy and a great brand of football.

"That's something that Sam Mitchell has implemented for a two years, an attacking strong, brand and that's something I'm looking forward to getting involved in again."

Across his 211 games with Hawthorn, Gunston booted 410 goals and finished as the club's leading goal-kicker on three occasions. 

The sharp-shooter said he was particularly excited about kicking goals alongside his close friend Luke Breust again, with the teammates having played more than a decade together in the brown and gold.

"I love playing with Luke, we've got a great bond on and off the field," Gunston said.

"He had a super season in 2023, I was really pleased for him. He was really dangerous in a forward line where the ball wasn't always getting down there.

"I'm looking forward to playing with him and Mitch Lewis again, and obviously we've got a few new recruits up there as well, so it's an exciting forward line that I'm looking forward to working with."

Gunston, who is now entering his 15th AFL pre-season, said he couldn't wait to get back on the track again this summer when the older players make their return to training in just under a fortnight. 

"We finished a bit later up in Queensland, so I'll ease my way back into it, my body is not as young as it used to be, so I'll ease my way into Christmas and try and have a really solid pre-season," Gunston said.

"It's not often that you're looking forward to getting out there for pre-season, but I'm really excited by it and I'm keen to get among the boys again."