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We’re ready: Beveridge

Luke Beveridge believes the tune up against North Melbourne has the Hawks well placed for a Round 1 victory.

HAWTHORN Assistant Coach Luke Beveridge believes a win against Geelong on Easter Monday would give the Hawks the belief it needs to kick-start a challenging opening to its 2013 campaign.

The Hawks take on each of last year’s top eight sides in the opening seven weeks, a draw many pundits have labelled the “start from hell”.

But the Hawks don’t subscribe to that, refusing to dwell on what is undoubtedly as difficult an opening to a season as any side.

Instead, the brains trust of Hawthorn see it as an opportunity to test itself against the competition’s elite sides and get an early indication of where the Club is placed.

With that in mind, Hawthorn’s focus throughout the pre-season has been channelled towards Round 1 and the six matches that follow it.

Now that Round 1 has arrived, it believes it has prepared itself as best it can to attack the opening rounds, beginning with the Cats on Monday.

“You can’t always have the perfect build up, but we feel as though we’ve had as good a preparation as anyone,” Beveridge told hawthornfc.com.au

“Our preparation and our last hit out against the Kangaroos got us tuned up for this Monday.

“As far as being able to rehearse what we want to do and, having the guys available to do that, we felt like the Kangaroos game was the perfect opportunity to implement holistically what we’d been talking about and the variations we wanted.”

The Hawks haven’t beaten the Cats in nine attempts, but Beveridge is confident the preparation the coaches and playing group have completed over the summer has it well placed to snap the Cats’ winning streak.

He says the four practices matches the Club has played during the NAB series have been invaluable.

“We’ve worked a lot on different areas over the pre-season but we’ve only won that last practice match over the Kangaroos,” he said.

“We’ve been encouraged by other stuff in the earlier games, we played a lot of personnel over the NAB series.

“We’d be looking to bring that all together, we feel like we’re funnelling into a final product to challenge Geelong on Monday.

“We all believe that we are at that point, so it’s a matter of testing the waters. We’ve got a pretty good template and our systems are strong enough to hold up.”

He says the Club is ready to start 2013 with a victory over its rivals and believes a win on Monday is important in the context of its season.

“It’s important because we feel like we’re ready,” he said.

“It’d be nice to get that early belief that we’re really on the right track.

“I really think this is an extremely important week for us in the lead up to our season.”

The Hawks assistant believes the midfield battle will be integral to the result, given both clubs have powerful forward lines capable of scoring heavily.

At the centre of Geelong’s midfield is captain, Joel Selwood who Beveridge believes holds the key to their success.

But he is confident the Club’s midfield led by Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis has what it takes to give the Hawks the edge.

“He (Selwood) sets the benchmark, there’s no doubt about it and the young Geelong players will obviously feed off that,” he said.

“If we can match that and some in the engine room, that’ll really hold us in good stead.

“Our midfield over the journey has established that they’re pretty fierce at the contest and they’d be expecting that of each other on Monday.

“To be able to win that closely, contested footy in stoppage situations would be a brilliant start for us, so hopefully our midfielders as a group can have the upper hand there on Monday.”