You can only take so much out of pre-season training.
Director of Coaching Brendon Bolton says Thursday night's clash with St Kilda will provide some valuable learning as the Hawks trial new on-field concepts ahead of season 2020.
"We really need to be tested against some opposition to get some real feedback," Bolton said.
"Often in pre-season, both teams know the strategies so it's difficult to understand how they are truly going.
"So, I think we will be able to get a better idea of what we've got to work on and what is going OK."
Bolton said the key things he will be watching for in the hit-out are the side's ability to move the ball offensively as well as seeing how it structures up defensively after a few minor alterations to the gameplan over the summer.
There's also some new names for the Hawks that, like the Hawthorn faithful, Bolton will be keeping a keen eye on.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how big Jonno Patton works alongside Tim O'Brien and Mitch Lewis."
The Hawks will take on St Kilda at RSEA Park in Moorabbin at 7.10pm AEDT on Thursday, February 20.
Stay tuned for the club's full team announcement on hawthornfc.com.au at 6.20pm on Wednesday evening.