Ladder Position: 3rd
Hawthorn’s 2012 was bordering on elite, but in a competition with such cream at the top it becomes difficult to work out a winner. In the end, it took a battling, scrappy preliminary final and for Hawthorn to get run over in the final quarter to knock them out of the premiership chase.
Thus, 2012 shall be a flag push for the Hawks. This is where the list was planned to be entering its flag window, with the 2008 season being almost a bonus for the club. Premierships are not easy things to win, but Hawthorn certainly stand a great chance.
Of course, it won’t be easy. Winning a flag never is. Hawthorn play West Coast, Geelong and Collingwood twice, as well as Sydney and Port Adelaide. Furthermore, they only have to make three interstate trips, excluding their Tasmanian games. Finally, after their Rnd 13 bye they will only play twice outside of Melbourne, giving them a comfortable run in.
Lance Franklin – Buddy’s stellar 2011 can only be topped by adding both a Coleman and another premiership medallion to his collection. Hopefully a few magic moments for our highlight reel too.
Luke Hodge – The captain will have been hurt, as will the whole side, by the 2011 loss, and
Sam Mitchell – Mitchell’s near-Brownlow season in 2011 was very, very good. Makes you wonder whether he’d prefer that or a flag.
Matt Suckling – Following up his breakout 2011 will be the goal for Suckling this time around.
Jack Gunston – Gunston will be looking to break into the Hawthorn forward line as a medium-forward option, and his form at Adelaide certainly suggested he could.
Luke Breust – Breust’s quality 2011 along with that familiar sound from the stands will hopefully become even more entrenched in the vernacular.
The Hawks were barely beaten in their 2011 challenge. 2012 sees them favourites for a reason. Flags do take a little bit of luck, but assuming that arrives then it will be no surprise to see Hawthorn on the last Saturday in September.