Prior to the 2023 season, comments were made regarding the possible 'tanking' of the Hawthorn Football Club. Despite those rumours and notions still coming to the surface, the club has far exceeded expectations.
Not necessarily in ladder position, however, but in the way that they are losing is quite gallant and shows signs of genuine improvement.
They are most definitely a long-term project, but under head coach Sam Mitchell, the future looks bright for this young Hawks side.
Could a few key signings ramp up the speed at which they improve? These are five names they could consider this off-season.
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1. Kai Lohmann
Livewire Brisbane forward Kai Lohmann could be a handy asset to the Hawthorn attack. In a forward line that heavily relies on youngster Mitch Lewis and an ageing, albeit classy Luke Breust, Lohmann could take some of the pressure off, while adding some of his own.
The Lions' forward line is just about complete, led by Charlie Cameron and Joe Daniher. At 185cm tall, Lohmann doesn't fit the mould of what the Lions need, however, would slot in perfectly at the Hawks. After only playing seven games in his short career so far (five of them this season), Lohmann could see much more game time as a Hawk.
Despite his statistics on paper not showing anything too special - perhaps due to his duties as a sub on multiple occasions - the forward has looked lively in his limited time with the Lions.
His speed and overhead marking ability are impressive and could provide a different dimension to the Hawks' forward line. As Chad Wingard is coming towards to end of his career, Lohmann could take that half-forward role and bring his speed to the side.
Additionally, his friendship with Hawk Sam Butler could be a selling point for the 20-year-old.