Hawthorn will be a curious club this year as they embark on another season of rebuilding under senior coach Sam Mitchell.

An off-season of further personnel change has left the Hawks on the verge of containing their spiral toward the foot of the ladder, ready to spring back up in the coming years as their younger ranks continue to cut their teeth.

Carrying the youngest and least experienced side into 2023, the Hawks will find it tough most weeks before the green shoots start to appear.

With a focus on youth, a handful of new faces joining the cause, and Mitchell's senior coaching career still in its infancy, we list five burning questions for the Hawks heading into their second season under their club great.


1. What's a pass mark for Sam Mitchell in 2023? 

Surrendering the experience of highly-valued veterans Liam Shiels, Ben McEvoy, Jack Gunston, Tom Mitchell, and Jaeger O'Meara in the off-season means Sam Mitchell's Hawks aren't expected to mount much of a challenge in 2023, with many pundits writing his side off before their first game of the year.

However, pertaining to a relative benchmark this season, Hawthorn's foremost goal would surely be giving the club's youth as much exposure and experience as possible during a season in which the Hawks aren't slated to generate a finals assault.

After eight wins and 14 losses in his maiden season at the head coaching helm, Mitchell would have aspirations to improve in his sophomore campaign. But what is a realistic win-loss aim for this year to be considered a 'pass' amid an ongoing rebuild?

After the aforementioned mass list changeover, winning eight games again this upcoming season would have to be considered a reasonably impressive feat. In all reality, it's hard to see the Hawks even scraping that surface, particularly when acknowledging the fact they play 2022 finals outfits Melbourne, Fremantle, and the Western Bulldogs twice throughout the year.

However, with Essendon, North Melbourne, the GWS Giants, and Adelaide among their first six matches of the year, there is a window for some early brown and gold victories