If you were a VFL player any time prior to the 1990s, you were more than a footballer.

Beyond 5pm three or four nights a week, you would run, train and lift like the modern-day player.

But between 9am and 5pm five days a week, you might have been anything from a lawyer to a carpenter.

Every Hawk is in the midst of embarking on a five-day work experience program that will somewhat mirror the lives of those players from yesteryear.

The initiative has been introduced as a way of giving the players an insight into the “real world”, testing their skills in everything from time management to commitment and discipline in a foreign environment.

Their schedule encompasses two gym sessions completed in mornings prior to work, returning to the club for three night training sessions.

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Speaking on RSN Breakfast Club on Thursday morning, Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson said the concept was brought about in an effort to give the players a greater perspective of what is ultimately an inevitable future for them.

"It's really just about trying to give those guys some exposure and a little bit of a look into what they might do post-footy if their footy finishes up early for them or once they do finish eventually," Clarkson said.

"Shauny Burgoyne is working three days in a row for the first time in his life!

"He walked into the club last night with his chin and bottom lip on the ground, it was hard to get him up, the old fella.

"But it's good for all our lads to get out there and understand what it's going to be like once they finish up with their footy."

The players are undergoing work experience in a wide array of fields; Jaeger O’Meara is spending time with the NBL’s South East Melbourne Phoenix,  Chad Wingard is completing Indigenous mentoring at Worowa College,

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