Whether it's up forward or down back, Hawks fans can always rely on Blake Hardwick to do what’s best for the team.

Having showcased his versatility across both ends of the ground so far this season, Hardwick remains one of Hawthorn’s most reliable performers in his ninth season in the brown and gold.

While his influence may go under the radar in the broader football world, Hardwick has been immense in applying his strong defensive pressure, whilst also causing damage on the scoreboard.

His attacking strength was on display earlier this year when he kicked four goals in a half against Collingwood in Round 4 to spur a stunning comeback from the Hawks that just fell short. 

In the Hawks win against the Western Bulldogs a fortnight ago, Hardwick's selfless approach was on full display, suggesting he switch from forward to down back so that injured Captain James Sicily could see out the game. 

Speaking to SEN Sportsday earlier this week, the 27-year-old reflected on his adaptability that has become a key feature of his game in 2024.

“I like to think I’m adaptable and can play either end,” Hardwick expressed.

“It’s always different every week, sometimes I start forward, sometimes I start back just depending on match ups and injuries in our team.” 

The Hawks will now look to make it three wins in a row when they take on Yartapuulti this Sunday at Adelaide Oval. 

Coming of the back off some recent victories, Hardwick said the strong performances have provided a boost of confidence among the group. 

“We have won the last three out four games, so it’s good to get some positivity,” Hardwick said. 

“We know we are still a long way from it and we need to keep improving to get more and more wins on the board.”

Reflecting on the youth of the side, Hardwick highlighted a few standout players this season, including Connor Macdonald and Lloyd Meek who have both taken some big strides this year.

He also praised Senior Coach Sam Mitchell for the impact he has been able to have on the playing group.

“Sam is great, we don’t look into the outside noise at all,” Hardwick said.  

“As a coach he can be pretty brutal at times, but on the inside he is all love and the boys love him.

“He has created this game style, which I'm sure is good to watch for people on the outside.”

Across his nine games so far this year, Hardwick has averaged 13.6 disposals and 4.3 marks, while also booting a total of six goals. 

Now, one of the more experienced heads at the club, Hardwick also reflected on his personal journey at the Hawks. 

“I was stoked to be pick 44, I didn’t really know if I was going at all in that draft,” Hardwick said.

“I was lucky enough to be chosen by the Hawks.

“It’s all enjoyment for me, it is still bizarre to me that it is my job to play footy.

“To head in every day with 40 guys to have some fun, train, and compete is what I love doing.”

Listen to the full interview with Hardwick below.