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Gelling of midfield key to Smith's form

Last time we met: Sydney R19, 2017 The Hawks and Swans clash in round 19, 2017

Star Hawk Isaac Smith says it’s been the greater gelling of the side’s midfield group that’s been the catalyst for his superb start to the 2018 season.

Smith is arguably in career-best form at the moment, averaging just under 23 disposals as well as career high contested possessions (6.14) and goals a game (1.7), but says it’s the greater time spent on-field with some of the club’s more recent acquisitions that is driving both his and the team’s good fortunes.

The Hawks added talented on-ballers Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara from other clubs ahead of the 2017 season, while the likes of Dan Howe also spent more time in the midfield last year in what was a far different make-up from previous years.

“Last year we had a pretty new midfield group to what I’d been playing with the first six or seven years of my career,” Smith told RSN on Tuesday morning.

“We had Tom Mitchell come in, Jaeger O’Meara come in, had Daniel Howe come in and then we had two or three other younger guys sort of get in the midfield group.”

“So your flexibility and your ease of just flipping things around changes a bit.”

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But with more than a full home and away season under their belts together Smith says all parties are starting to reap the rewards.

“We were hoping we could just roll up last year and it’d all just click and we’d all be working well together,” Smith said.

“But it’s definitely taken 12 to 18 months to just understand those little things that everyone does.

“We got to work on that over the summer and it feels like it’s working really nicely.

“We’ve got a core three, four, five blokes that are always in the midfield now and it’s a lot easier to gel.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs