Lewis has become a vital member of the Hawks’ big forward line. Picture: AFL Photos
Lewis has become a vital member of the Hawks’ big forward line. Picture: AFL Photos

Roughy’s ‘awkward grudge’ against replacement

Hawthorn key forward Mitch Lewis has spoken about how "awkward" it was replacing club legend Jarryd Roughead in the senior side last year.

Lewis showed considerable promise bagging 20 goals from 12 games before a shoulder injury ended his season against Greater Western Sydney in Round 21.

 

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Mitchell Lewis and Jarryd Roughead played in the same side early last season. Picture: AAP
Mitchell Lewis and Jarryd Roughead played in the same side early last season. Picture: AAP

 

The 21-year-old said while he now felt comfortable at the top level, there was some testing times earlier on in the year as he stepped in for favourite son Roughead.

"It was pretty awkward at the beginning, but I think when 'Roughy' went back to Box Hill and was enjoying his time there, it became a little bit easier," Lewis told the Herald Sun.

"The first week or two when I was in the AFL side instead (of Roughead), I think there was a little bit of a grudge.

"But then, after that it was fine.

"He is a competitor, Roughy, and obviously forged a great career at Hawthorn so I've got nothing but total respect for him and he was awesome throughout my whole time here.

"Last pre-season every single drill we could be in together, he would grab me and say right 'Let's do this together' and talk me through everything he knows."

Lewis said a mid-season stint in the VFL helped set him up for a stronger finish to the year where the former gun cricketer kicked three bags of three goals.

 

The tension between Roughead and Lewis lifted when the legend enjoyed his time in the VFL. Picture: AAP
The tension between Roughead and Lewis lifted when the legend enjoyed his time in the VFL. Picture: AAP

 

The No.76 draft pick said his self-belief increased throughout the year, in particular after slotting a 50m goal from tight on the boundary against Greater Western Sydney at the MCG.

"That was my first big moment where I kicked a pretty good goal, and I thought 'S---, maybe I can play this game," Lewis said.

"But early on it wasn't all smooth sailing.

"I thought I was pretty scratchy with my form in the first six games at the start of the year.

"But to go to Box Hill and work on a couple of things, tweak a couple of things in my game and come back and play the way that I did was really encouraging."

Hawthorn is strongly considering playing a three-pronged key forward set up this season, including Lewis, new recruit Jon Patton and versatile big man Tim O'Brien.

 

Lewis has become a vital member of the Hawks’ big forward line. Picture: AFL Photos
Lewis has become a vital member of the Hawks’ big forward line. Picture: AFL Photos

 

Coach Alastair Clarkson is expected to have another look at the trio against St Kilda tomorrow night in the bushfire fundraiser in Morwell.

Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell will be rested in his comeback from a broken leg, while ruckman Ben McEvoy is also sidelined with a corked leg.

Both are in no doubt for the Round 1 clash against Brisbane Lions.

Hawthorn football manager Graham Wright said Mitchell's leg had pulled up better than his feet following his return in the first practice match against St Kilda at Moorabbin last week.

"I think he (Mitchell) had some blisters on his feet, they were a bigger issue for him than his leg," Wright said.

"He could've played longer but we thought two and a half to three quarters was as much as we wanted him to play."

 

Sam Frost was among a number of Hawks to visit fire-affected Victorian towns. Picture: AAP
Sam Frost was among a number of Hawks to visit fire-affected Victorian towns. Picture: AAP

 

 

NO FROSTY RECEPTION FOR NEW HAWK SAM

Rolling up singed barbed wire fences was tricky business for new Hawk Sam Frost.

But when it came to helping the bushfire-ravaged communities in Buchan and Corryong last month, the former Demon and self-confessed "city-slicker" was happy to roll up the sleeves with his new teammates to help begin the rebuild.

"It was really rewarding to get to a few communities and help out with a few things which would have otherwise taken them a while," Frost said.

"So it was great for them, but I think we got a lot out of it too.

"The barbed wire was a bit rough. That was flicking around everywhere.

"But I think it has brought us closer together as a group, particular someone like myself who has come to a new side, doing something different together."

The Hawks will head back to Gippsland for tomorrow's bushfire fundraiser against St Kilda in Morwell from 4.30pm.

A gold coin donation will help fund local emergency services and communities which were devastated by the bushfire crisis last month.


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