He is more than ready to go.
That was Alastair Clarkson's sentiment as he announced Jai Newcombe would be making his AFL debut against Sydney on Friday night.
Selected by the Hawks with Pick 2 in last week's mid-season draft, Newcombe has earned his call-up just eight days later.
Clarkson said the rugged on-baller's body of work at VFL level in the first half of the season made him hard to ignore.
"We're debuting another young kid in Jai Newcombe who has also just come onto our list via the mid-season draft," Clarkson said.
"He's played some great footy for us at Box Hill throughout the first half of the season."
The four-time premiership coach added that the club's pair of mid-season draftees in Newcombe and Jackson Callow were always selected with the view that they could have an impact at AFL level quickly.
"We selected both of those guys on the basis that they might be able to play in the second half of the year because both have strong enough bodies to do so.
"Jackson was playing some really good footy for Norwood in the SANFL.
"We're also hopeful, with Jai getting his chance this week, that Jackson also gets his chance at some point in the second half of the year."
Turning his attention to the side's Round 13 opponents, Clarkson said he had been impressed by the way Sydney had managed to unearth young talent in 2021.
"It's the exact same process we're going through and it's the reason why we're debuting young players and giving them the opportunity to play.
"With some sort of luck then our process happens a bit quicker than otherwise.
"But Sydney has done it very, very well over the course of the last 12 months."