It's an exciting era for Hawthorn under senior coach and club great Sam Mitchell, with the club's promising ranks of young stars looking to rise up the competition in 2024.

While it would only earn the Hawks a return of 16th place, the club managed to record seven wins while battling without some of their top-line players for periods of the year.

The Hawks will again be reliant on their key pillars at either end of the field in captain James Sicily and star forward Mitch Lewis, with the brown and gold side posting a winning record (six wins, five losses) when the two played together this year.

Mitchell's side looks set to bat deep in the middle of the field, while key selection calls will come at both ends of the field after an off-season of change for the Hawks.

Here's how we see Hawthorn's best 23 for 2024 taking shape...



1. Defenders

Led by All-Australian James Sicily, the Hawks rearguard is an intriguing area for Sam Mitchell's 2024 plans.

Looking to support Sicily will be one of James Blanck or Sam Frost, with the fringe pair both in contention for a starting role as the man to go toe-to-toe with the opposition's best forward.

Sicily will offer his elite aerial and leadership qualities on the Hawks' last line, while an up-and-down year for Jack Scrimshaw will hopefully be left in 2023 as the former Sun looks to cement his place in the senior side.

Lockdown backman Blake Hardwick continues to fly under the radar with his level of defensive nous, while flank pair Jarman Impey and Changkuoth Jiath will offer plenty of run and ball use from the back half.

Youngster Josh Weddle is sure to excite with his dash, and could even be moved further up the field, while recruit Massimo D'Ambrosio is set to offer a similar service.

Seamus Mitchell was a nice positive for the Hawks after biding his time in the VFL to play 14 games in 2023, while speedster Bailey Macdonald is one to watch over the pre-season.