Clarkson lifting intensity for Hawks
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson is putting his players through tough workouts as they prepare to return to action, says midfield star Tom Mitchell.
The 2018 Brownlow Medal winner wasn't able to follow up his form last year, with a broken leg suffered in pre-season keeping him sidelined for the entire AFL campaign.
He's keen to get back on the field, but admits it might take him several rounds to get back to his best.
Mitchell says there is much greater scrutiny on individuals during drills at training, with the squad having been split into groups of around eight players each.
"They're tough drills because there's nowhere to hide out there with such small numbers," he said. "We're working pretty hard and today was a higher volume session than Monday so the intensity was a bit higher and they've been some pretty quality sessions so far.
"I think it's going to be a progression, not only for myself but for everyone, because there's obviously been no contact at training this week and then I think we have two to three weeks of being able to build up our contact work.
"So, it'll probably be light contact but by the week leading up to Round 1, I feel as though we will be testing ourselves at 100 per cent and hopefully that's enough to hold you in good stead for Round 2."
Mitchell played in the opening round win over Brisbane when he gathered 25 possessions.
The 26-year-old said recent weeks had given him the chance to build further strength in his body using his home gym.
"I'm only going to have played one game in over 20 months by the time round two comes back," he added. "I don't expect to be back to my best straight away but I've got confidence that I'll get back to my best, hopefully soon, but it might take a few games with that sort of record."
Hawthorn are 16/1 to win the Grand Final.
The Hawks are 13/2 to reach the Grand Final.
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