Liam Shiels of the Hawks gets a hand ball away in front of Scott Thompson of the Crows.
Liam Shiels of the Hawks gets a hand ball away in front of Scott Thompson of the Crows. BEN MACMAHON

Hawks confident of strong season despite changes

AFL: There's been a considerable changing of the guard at Hawthorn, but not the club's lofty expectations in season 2017.

After seeing their three-year reign come to a shuddering halt in the finals, run off their feet by eventual premiers the Bulldogs, the Hawks offloaded two veterans in Jordan Lewis and Sam Mitchell and replaced Luke Hodge as captain with Jarryd Roughead.

Liam Shiels was also installed as vice-captain with Isaac Smith, and will lead the midfield set-up with new additions Jaeger O'Meara and Tom Mitchell.

"Our mantra for probably the past five years now has been to finish top four to give ourselves the best chance to do some damage in September ... that stays the same,” Shiels said.

"Losing those guys does give the young guys the chance to step up ... there's spots up for grabs, so the energy at training has been fantastic.

"We've got great young players coming through, we've always had great depth, so that's probably our greatest strength.

"We've obviously picked up a few new guys as well so I think we're set for a great year.”



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