Key forward Mitch Lewis says Hawks fans should be excited by what their new-look forward line could deliver in 2024.

After struggling at times to make an impact on the scoreboard in recent years, Hawthorn now looks to face a selection squeeze in the forward 50 ahead of their season opener next month.

It comes after the club acquired several new faces during the off-season, recruiting Jack Ginnivan from Collingwood, Mabior Chol from Gold Coast and Nick Watson in the draft, while Jack Gunston also returned to the fold after a one-year stint in Brisbane.

With four fresh targets, Lewis said competition for spots were hot as the countdown to Round 1 ramps up.

"When you bring in all this talent, it's exciting to see what clicks together," Lewis told SEN Breakfast on Monday.

"There are so many guys down there now, we've gone from our forward line being probably our weakest link, to now what I'd argue is up there with our strongest.

"It will be exciting to see how we shape up for Round 1, we have an intraclub on Thursday and then a couple hit-outs against the Western Bulldogs (so we'll see how things go).

"Adrian Hickmott (Forward Coach) is going to have his work cut our for him to pick a group of seven that plays against Essendon in Round 1."

The 25-year-old lauded the midfield work of his side in 2023, claiming the forward line has all the talent to forge a similar impact on the field this year. 

"Our midfield really stepped up last year, we went from having a bottom midfield in the pervious years to up there now in terms of the best in terms of clearances and inside 50s," Lewis added. 

"That was a massive step and is why we've put so much emphasis into your forward line in the off-season to consolidate our inside 50 and turn them into scores."

Lewis missed the start of the 2023 campaign with a strained ACL injury, but still played an equal career-high games tally of 15 matches.

Despite facing several injury setbacks, Lewis has emerged as a key cog for the club in recent years, booting 73 goals from 30 games in the last two seasons. 

The Hawks star said he is now at full fitness ahead of the club’s twin pre-season clashes with the Western Bulldogs this month. 

"That's the thing I'm most aspiring towards, I want to play a full season of footy and hopefully contribute to the team," Lewis explained. 

"Everything that I do in and away from the footy club is aiming to do that.

"A couple of years ago when the injuries first started coming along, I tried to do too much, I was thinking about it 24/7.

"Whereas now this pre-season I've tried to still do the things that need to be done in terms of rehabilitation and getting my body right, but without driving myself absolutely crazy over outcomes that may happen in terms of my body.

"I'm keeping a more relaxed approach, while still completing everything that I need to do in terms of rehab, weights and training that has helped me in good stead so far."


After being included in the club's leadership team for the first time last year, Lewis said he was also continuing to evolve in that domain.

"I suppose the leadership space comes more naturally to me," Lewis explained. 

"But that's one of those things that has been an ongoing development for me as well, I'd say two or three years ago I was trying to force it and everyone knows when you try and force leadership it causes yourself detriment because your performance goes downhill, but you're not actually helping anyone in the team.

"I've had more of a focus on just being myself, letting those natural leading tendencies to come out of me has actually resulted in me being a better leader and showing greater standards for the guys around me."

Listen to the full chat with Lewis on SEN below.