Making his AFL debut, winning a VFL premiership and finishing second in the VFL’s leading goalkicker tally, Mitch Lewis was entitled to a break this off-season.

But barely a week went by following Box Hill’s grand final success before Lewis was back in the gym.

As a result, the 20-year old returned back to the start of pre-season three kilograms heavier and with an even greater hunger for more senior action.

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Having completed Kokoda and now being at his second camp of the pre-season in Mooloolaba, Lewis believes his preparation for his third season in the brown and gold has been optimal.

“For this camp, I’m just looking to build on what I’ve already done,” Lewis said.

“I’ve done Kokoda now and two or three weeks of solid training around that as well.

“So, I’m just trying to finish strongly leading into Christmas now.”

In addition to the obvious physical benefits received from the Hawks gruelling pre-season program to date, Lewis has also noticed an improvement in the camaraderie of the group.  

“I think, through these two camps, we have been able to spend more time with each other.

“As a result, I think the guys have bonded pretty strong relationships, especially those that went to Kokoda.”

Lewis was also one of six returning players to receive a new jumper number last week, inheriting the number eight guernsey from outgoing teammate Taylor Duryea.

The key forward said the significance of receiving the new number was not lost on him.

“Obviously, there were some notable guys who wore number 39, my previous number, and that is the same for my new number.

“But I think, at the end of the day, it is ultimately just a jumper number on your back and I’ll be looking to make a name for myself in that number.”

With a taste of premiership success this season with Box Hill, Lewis has an evident determination to achieve team glory again.

“The VFL premiership was awesome to be a part of and, for the guys that experienced that, we’ll share a bond for the rest of our lives,” Lewis said.

“But hopefully the guys that played in that team can make their way into the AFL side and then we can do it all again.”