Reinvigorated and ready to attack his 17th season, Luke Hodge could be a big-name inclusion for the Hawks second pre-season clash against North Melbourne this Sunday at Arden Street Oval. Hodge has enjoyed an injury-free off-season and looks set to thrive in what could be the final year of his career.
Hodge has signalled his excitement and anticipation for this year, much of which is on the back of the successful recruiting throughout the Hawks off-season, with former Swan Tom Mitchell thoroughly impressing the four-time premiership player.
"[Tom Mitchell has been] getting his hands on the ball straight up [at stoppages], so that’s a great start,” Hodge told RSN 927 Breakfast Radio earlier this month.
Mitchell's first start in the brown and gold could come as soon as this Sunday as he looks to continue his 65-game career that has seen him average over 25 disposals a game.
Having endured an injury-interrupted start to his four-year AFL career, Jonathan O'Rourke will also be keen to kick off his 2017 campaign this weekend as he seeks a more consistent spot in the Hawks line-up. With 18 career games under his belt, the former number two draft pick will be eager to add to his game tally throughout the coming season.
Many talented, young Hawks made the most of their opportunity to show their wares in round one of the JLT Community Series giving the match committee a few headaches as senior players move into selection contention.
Among these strong performers, Teia Miles was able to translate his strong pre-season into a positive performance as he gathered 17 disposals from the defensive line. Coming into his third season on the Hawk's list, the Barwon Heads local, who is yet to debut for the club, has firmly put his hand up for another call-up against the Roos.
Read: Will we be seeing more of Teia Miles this year?
Vice-captain Isaac Smith praised the game of Miles post-match, as well as emerging midfielders Kade Stewart and Kieran Lovell.
“Teia Miles used the ball really well.
“I thought Kade Stewart and Lovey [Kieran Lovell] in the centre both played really well, and also Burto [Ryan Burton] up forward. So it was really good signs with a lot of the young guys," Smith said.