HAWTHORN utility Brendan Whitecross continues to push for a senior berth.
Whitecross, 26, resisted overtures from rival clubs and stayed at Waverley on a one-year deal at the end of last year in the hope of playing in a premiership.
But he hasn't yet added to his 88 senior games in 2016, instead playing all 10 VFL matches for Box Hill Hawks to be one of their most consistent performers, and he faces a battle to unseat one of Hawthorn's prime midfield movers.
"To get in the team he's got to push out Bradley Hill, Billy Hartung or Isaac Smith, because he plays a similar role," GM - Football Operations Chris Fagan told AFL.com.au.
"Those guys, other than Hilly missing earlier in the year, have been pretty solid with their form and their fitness.
"So he's (Whitecross) been a consistent performer at Box Hill and he's just got to wait until an opportunity comes up.
"It's not about a youth policy necessarily, but more about who he replaces in the side."
Whitecross, who might have been a multiple premiership player if not for two knee reconstructions, hasn't played senior football since round six last season.
So far this year, Hawthorn has blooded four debutants, and the likes of Daniel Howe and Jonathan O'Rourke have also enjoyed some senior opportunities.
Although the regeneration hasn't always been a smooth ride, Alastair Clarkson has still steered the side to the top of the ladder with an 11-3 record.