Chad Wingard will make his Hawthorn debut this weekend against North Melbourne.
Crossing from Port Adelaide in last year’s trade period, Wingard was held out of the opening fortnight of the season due to a calf strain.
But with his injury troubles now behind him, the two-time All Australian says he can’t wait to begin his next chapter in the brown and gold.
“It feels pretty special getting the call-up from Clarko and having all the boys around to share that experience with,” the 25-year-old said.
“Nothing is going to beat running out with the boys and hopefully coming away with the win.”
Despite making the move from his home state South Australia and leaving a club at which he played 147 games for over seven seasons, Wingard says the change wasn’t as challenging as he might have expected.
“It hasn’t been much of an adjustment for me, I feel like it’s been a pretty smooth transition.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and the boys have really embraced me.
“It’s really just about getting out there now and playing my role for the team.”
Although Wingard is now firmly in the Hawthorn fold, his memory of his Port Adelaide days haven’t faded.
Asked who he was most excited to play alongside this Sunday, Wingard quickly nominated Jarman Impey.
“Playing with ‘Jarzy’ at Port, I’m really looking forward to doing that again with him.
“But also, Roughy and some of these guys that have been very successful at Hawthorn – Gunston, Breust, Poppy – all these players that have won flags and reached the peak of football.”