The Hawks will look to climb further up the ladder in 2024. (Image: Matt Haug)

After witnessing glimpses of the Hawks’ best footy last season, can they make even more of an impact in 2024?

2023 Overview

Last season continued to be a rebuild for Sam Mitchell and his side, focusing on developing the younger emerging talent who showed plenty of promising signs throughout the year.

James Sicily led the Hawks very well in his first season as skipper, showing great maturity as a defender despite a number of suspension hiccups throughout the year.

James Sicily training during the off-season at Waverley Park on November 27, 2023. Image: Matt Haug

The Hawks finished 2023 in 16th place, with seven wins throughout the home and away season. Although their positioning wasn’t amazing by any stretch, the Hawks looked to show improved and compete against the rest of the competition. You could argue that it was a successful season based on these measures.

The Hawks had a particularly strong second half of the season, with victories over both Grand Finalists Collingwood and Brisbane. They truly stunned the competition with those performances and showed some really promising signs for the seasons to come.

The Hawks headed into the competition last season with the youngest list, an average of 40 games per player, which was 11 games less than the next youngest side. However, they looked very mature at times and will be proud of what they accomplished in another transitional year.

Off-Season Changes

Ins: Jack Ginnivan (Traded – Collingwood), Jack Gunston (Traded – Brisbane), Mabior Chol (Traded – Gold Coast), Massimo D’Ambrosio (Traded – Essendon), Nick Watson (National Draft – Pick 5/Eastern Ranges), Will McCabe (National Draft F/S Selection – Pick 19/Central District), Bodie Ryan (National Draft – Pick 46/Glenelg), Calsher Dear (National Draft F/S Selection – Pick 56/Sandringham Dragons).

Outs: Lachie Bramble, Fergus Greene, Fionn O’Hara, Emerson Jeka, Ned Long, Josh Morris (delisted), Tyler Brockman (Traded – West Coast), Brandon Ryan (Traded – Brisbane), Jacob Koschitzke (Traded – Richmond), Max Lynch (retired).

Trading out names like Tyler Brockman, Jacob Koschitzke, and Brandon Ryan over the trade period, the Hawks would have been left with a few too many holes in their forward line depth. However, they replenished those stocks brilliantly by bringing back Jack Gunston, and acquiring the services of Mabior Chol, as well as Collingwood premiership player Jack Ginnivan.

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Opening Round – Bye

Round 1 – Essendon (Away)

Round 2 – Melbourne (Home)

Round 3 – Geelong (Home)

Round 4 – Collingwood (Gather Round, Away)

Round 5 – Gold Coast (Away)

Round 6 – North Melbourne (Away)

Round 7 – Sydney (Home)

Round 8 – Western Bulldogs (Away)

Round 9 – St Kilda (Home)

Round 10 – Port Adelaide (Away)

Round 11 – Brisbane (Home)

Round 12 – Adelaide (Home)

Round 13 – GWS Giants (Home)

Round 14 – Richmond (Away)

Round 15 – Bye

Round 16 – West Coast (Away)

Round 17 – Geelong (Away)

Round 18 – Fremantle (Home)

Round 19 – Collingwood (Home)

Round 20 – Adelaide (Away)

Round 21 – GWS Giants (Away)

Round 22 – Carlton (Away)

Round 23 – Richmond (Home)

Round 24 – North Melbourne (Home)

Looking at 2024

Last season, the Hawks’ forward line struggled the most given the lack of experience across that line. Looking at 2024 though, it looks very exciting for fans as previously mentioned, given the players that have been picked up over the off-season.

Jack Gunston has come back to the Hawks after one season with the Lions to provide a leadership role to the younger players as well as being an extra target up forward.

Mabior Chol is perfect coming into the side as a tall option for the Hawks. Their key forward stocks were pretty thin at times last year, and coach Sam Mitchell will arguably have more at his disposal in 2024.

Young guns Massimo D’Ambrosio and Pies premiership player Jack Ginnivan will be electric additions, and will have the opportunity to be play more football after inconsistent appearances at their previous clubs.

Massimo D’Ambrosio training hard at his new club in the off-season at Waverley Park on November 27, 2023. Image: Matt Haug

The Hawks’ forward line is going to be exciting to see not only with Chol and Ginnivan, but also with the addition of young draftee Nick Watson. He looks like he is going to be an exciting prospect who can make an instant impact in the side.

Nick Watson (left) and Jack Ginnivan (right) both training hard during the off-season at Waverley Park on November 27, 2023. Image: Matt Haug

Prediction: 15th

Look out for Hawthorn to be threatening once again when they come up against those big sides in 2024. Sam Mitchell has a talented, young side at his disposal, and recruited strongly during the off-season which will help their development massively.

As exciting and challenging as the Hawks will be, their list compared to the rest of the competition is still very young and not as experienced as other clubs are, which will probably still affect their ladder position in the end.

However, they will still improve and look to make a jump out of the bottom four and up the ladder over the next couple of seasons.

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