Coach Sam Mitchell says he feels the love from Hawthorn powerbrokers win, lose or draw because the Hawks proceed on their difficult rebuild.
Hawthorn secured their first win of the season on Saturday, upsetting former Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson’s North Melbourne.
The Hawks have been belted within the opening two rounds by Essendon and Sydney, resulting in heavy criticism round their deep listing cuts.
Skilled midfielders Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara have been offloaded on the finish of final season regardless of Hawthorn ending thirteenth in 2022 with simply eight wins.
New president Andy Gowers final Saturday hit out at solutions of “tanking” to enhance their draft place this 12 months, calling them “totally offensive”.
It got here simply hours earlier than the Hawks pulled off a memorable 19-point win in Launceston.
“I can not be something however grateful to the board and Andy and all these guys,” Mitchell mentioned on Wednesday.
“They perceive they usually’ve been a part of the route that we’re going and the strategic pondering, whether or not they have been there from the beginning of the construct or whether or not they’ve are available in now.
“We have been actually exhibiting them all the things that we have achieved, they usually’ve been nothing however supportive.
“The quantity of textual content messages I acquired from that group after the loss(es) confirmed me we’re in good arms.”
Even Jordan Lewis has questioned whether or not Mitchell, his four-time Hawthorn premiership teammate, can survive the anticipated interval with out taking part in finals earlier than the dramatic listing overhaul reaps rewards.
However Gowers has vowed to again in Mitchell even by means of a number of the powerful occasions that can possible comply with with the youngest and least skilled listing within the league.
Throughout Clarkson’s profitable tenure between 2005 and 2021, he nonetheless recurrently, and infamously, clashed with former president Jeff Kennett concerning the route of the membership.
“We’re not the primary membership to do that and will not be the final and we have achieved this earlier than efficiently (from 2004-07),” he advised 3AW on Saturday.
“This rebuild has been described as a type of tanking and I take absolute exception to that and discover that suggestion totally offensive.
“You are speaking about an ultra-competitive man (Mitchell) and would not have tanked a minute of any sport he performed and he is accountable for these boys, together with (soccer supervisor) Rob McCartney.”
Mitchell mentioned dynamic star Chad Wingard will possible return for Hawthorn’s Easter Monday conflict with Geelong, whereas key ahead Mitch Lewis (knee) remains to be a couple of month away from returning.
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