Yes, we concede the Hawks haven’t been the best to watch of late.

Four losses on the trot will test the resilience of the most loyal of fans.

But, we assure you, take a few minutes to read the below and you might find that glass of yours goes from half-empty to half-full.

 

Will Day

Day has been a shining light for Hawks fans in his three appearances in the brown and gold so far.

Fans have been loving his work under trying conditions, giving the youngster the nod for the side’s MVP following the loss to Melbourne in Round 7.

The stats back up the optimism and excitement too.

Day has averaged 15 possessions per game in his first three senior outings and is averaging more marks than any other player in his draft class (4.7 per game).

Just shy of his half these marks have been off opposition kicks, with his 2.3 intercept marks per game ranking equal seventh in the competition for those 25 years old or younger, equal with Collingwood defender and supposed All Australian fancy Darcy Moore.

Pick 13 of last year’s national draft, the lightly-built defender’s 5.7 intercept possessions per game ranks third for any player in the competition 20 years old or younger

MVP: Sis stands tall in Round 8 loss to the Swans 

James Sicily  

Speaking of intercept possessions, Day has a pretty handy resource to learn from, lining up in the same backline as James Sicily, the competition’s number one intercept possession player.

Given the Hawks’ form, Sicily’s level of play this season has perhaps gone somewhat unrecognised.

But, a deeper look at the numbers finds some striking results for the Hawks number six.

Sis has taken the second-most intercept marks this season in competition behind only Nick Haynes.

The 25-year-old is part of an exclusive quartet league-wide, made up of Adam Saad, Caleb Daniel, Jeremy Howe and himself, who have averaged at least 19.4 disposals this year while maintaining an 80 per cent disposal efficiency.

Only Sam Docherty and Brodie Smith have gained more metreage for their respective side’s this year than Sicily, who is averaging just shy of 450 metres gained per outing

Sicily’s impressive 2020 resume also includes him recording the third most rebound 50s, the fifth most kicks and the equal fifth most marks of any player in the league this year.

To rank in the competition’s top five for intercept possessions, intercept marks, metres gained, rebound 50s, kicks and marks tell us that Sis is compiling another All Australian calibre season.

00:59 Mins
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Your Round 8 MVP was James Sicily

Check out some highlights from your Round 8 MVP, James Sicily.

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Tom Mitchell

The fact that Tom Mitchell hasn’t missed a game upon return from a devastating leg injury is cause for recognition in isolation.

But there is much more for Mitchell to be praised for.

The 27-year-old has quickly rediscovered his staggering ball-getting ways, gathering the fifth most disposals of any player in the competition so far.

Opting to handball in just over 60 per cent of his touches, his 114 handballs this year is good for second in the league.

But, we hear you say, we know Mitchell is a ball magnet, what else?

Well, this one might take you by surprise.

Of the 35 players in the competition to be averaging 21 disposals or more this year, only injured Pie Jeremy Howe has recorded a greater disposal efficiency than Tom Mitchell.

And, on the defensive side of the game, the 2018 Brownlow Medallist has tallied the fourth most defensive half pressure acts in the competition.

Not bad for a bloke who suffered one of the most debilitating injuries a footballer could imagine just 18 months ago.

 

Chad Wingard 

In Chad Wingard lies Hawthorn’s x-factor.

And, while the concept of x-factor has a level of intangibility to it, these numbers try their best to convey it.

Wingard has brought a great balance to his game this year, proving a potent threat around goals for the Hawks whilst also providing a spark in the midfield when called upon.

There are 26 players in the competition who have kicked 10 or more goals this year, Chad has clearly had the most disposals of any player in this group this year, averaging 14.9 disposals per game.

Sharing the lead of the club’s goal kicking tally with Jack Gunston with 12 goals, he is also equal ninth in the comp for score involvements.

Finally, Wingard is three forward 50 entries off being the game’s most prolific inside 50 deliverer in 2020.

 

James Worpel 

It’s easy to forget Worps is still just 21 years of age given the heights he has already achieved in his young career.

The club’s reigning Peter Crimmins Medallist may not have hit the same ball-getting levels of his outstanding 2019 campaign just yet, but fans could never question the tough on-baller’s commitment to the contest.

Worps has recorded the third most tackles of any player in the competition this season.

Averaging 5.8 tackles per game, he has added another tackle to his 2019 per game averages which is extra impressive when you consider there is 20 per cent less game time.

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R8: James Worpel post-match

Hear from young midfielder James Worpel after the loss to the Swans.

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Sam Frost

You don’t want to go one-on-one with Sam Frost.

Of the 37 players who have had 15 or more contested defence one on ones this year, Frost has the second-best percentage across the competition of not losing that contest.

Only 2019 All Australian defender Dylan Grimes has a better record.

Frost has been a hit in the Hawks backline this year, standing up especially well in a difficult past month.

Frost has always been a defend-first backman though.

But his first year in the brown and gold has seen the 26-year-old’s game flourish, adding a new weapon to his arsenal, with the former Demon also recording the ninth-most intercept possessions of any player in the league this year.

 

It’s probably also important to note that Tom Mitchell is the oldest of this six-man group of shining lights, turning just 27 last month.