HAWTHORN plans to field a strong line-up in its final two NAB Cup matches as it ramps up preparations for a round one showdown with Collingwood.
The Hawks rested several stars, including Lance Franklin, Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell and Cyril Rioli, for Saturday's 74-point win over Greater Western Sydney in Launceston.
But midfielder Liam Shiels, who also sat out the victory, said most would return against Melbourne next Saturday night.
"Most of the boys that didn't play on the weekend will play next week, and we'll give a few of the boys that did play a bit of a rest," Shiels said at the club's family day at Glenferrie Oval on Sunday.
"We're just trying to manage the loads at the minute, so I think that's what will happen going into the Melbourne game."
Captain Luke Hodge said the team aimed to arrive at round one in sharper form than last year, when it lost to Adelaide by 20 points at AAMI Stadium.
"Last year we didn't start as well as we would have hoped; we had a loss to Adelaide over there," Hodge said.
"We've got some difficult games early on this year, so I reckon we are going to play a fairly full squad the next two [NAB Cup] games, and hopefully we can hit the first couple of games running and get a few good wins."
Hawthorn sits third on the pre-season competition ladder, a win behind undefeated Adelaide and West Coast, but with far better percentage.
A win over the Demons next Saturday night, combined with a loss to either the Eagles or Crows, would see Alastair Clarkson's team into the NAB Cup Grand Final.
It is a prospect Shiels said the Hawks would welcome.
"Every NAB Cup game we play, we're trying to win, so if we end up making the Grand Final it will step up and we'll be trying to win," Shiels said.
Adelaide is home to Collingwood on Friday night, and West Coast plays St Kilda at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.
The top two teams at the end of the first three rounds of matches will play off in the decider.
Mark Macgugan covers Hawks news for AFL.com.au and hawthornfc.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_MarkM.