Hawthorn young gun Will Day has thrown his hand up to help fill the club's midfield void, revealing he has been training with members of the Hawks' engine room over pre-season.
Following the departures of Jaeger O'Meara and Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell during the most recent trade period, several spots in Sam Mitchell's midfield have opened for the 2023 season and beyond.
Though breakout stars Jai Newcombe, Connor Macdonald and Dylan Moore secured their roles over the course of 2022, covering the workload of O'Meara and Mitchell is set to stretch such a youthful brigade at Waverley.
Drafted with the 13th pick of the 2019 draft and originally deployed in defence, Day indicated on Wednesday that he expected to be sent to the coalface in 2023 rather than return to Hawthorn's stable back six.
"I've been (training) in the mids group, which has been really nice," Day told RSN Breakfast Club.
"It's been a good changeup and I definitely see myself there in the long term, so it's been good to get some work in."
A move into the middle is unlikely to catch Day unawares, with the West Adelaide product attending a spate of Hawthorn's centre bounces between Rounds 9 and 11 of the 2022 season.
"Last year, I had some exposure to midfield. It's something Sam (Mitchell) and I have been chatting about, not really in a formal way before this year," the 21-year-old divulged.
"At the end of last, we had a meeting, and he said 'this is the way we're going to go'. I'm pretty excited."
Fresh-faced and still slight of frame, Day has been no stranger to getting his hands dirty and winning the hard ball throughout his 33 senior games.
Yet, with collective inexperience palpable at Bunjil Bagora, armchair experts have predicted a bumpy ride for the Hawks as their rebuild continues.
And while Day was willing to pay credence to the external debate surrounding Hawthorn's blueprint for the future, it hasn't wiped grins from the face of Mitchell's invigorated group.
"It's hard not to talk about it, especially with the large turnover from last year. But it's been talked about in such a positive way, and we're really excited about where we're at," Day assured.
Day, Mitchell and the remainder of Hawthorn's youthful roster are set to face old enemies Essendon in Round 1, with the opening bounce of the intriguing clash scheduled for Sunday, March 19 at the MCG.