Coach Sam Mitchell's direction for the club and 2022 news

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perrdan86

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Mar 2, 2013
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I dont know if anyone was tuned into hawk talk on twitter spaces the other night, but Nat Edwards was on as a guest. She's a big Hawk fan.

She was saying the hawks over the past few years have been the hardest to deal with in terms of media access. She mentioned that at her office they would rate the teams in terms of media access and the hawks would always be in the bottom 4 teams.

But she then mentioned that the new media manager AND Sam Mitchell are really keen to change that and give a lot more access to the media which is obviously a great thing for all of us following along.

Just more things to be excited about (well i think so) moving forward.
 

Hawkboy62

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Jan 4, 2016
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Well if Sam listens to a wise old head like David King he will focus on attacking footy utilising our youth but must also be careful not to win too many games as this will set back our draft position. "Eggspurt" consensus is that we need to hit the draft for 3 years from a low finishing position but not sure we will manage that, having retained Mitchell, O'Meara, Wingard, Gunston and Breust.

There were a few things that Clarko and his assistants couldn't manage successfully with the team. One of them was transitioning quickly out of defence, although we had a good patch when CJ and Impey were uninjured. Sam and the coaches should have a much classier and skillful back line to work with so there should be easy improvement there. Late in the year Bramble was used as the "go to" man by the other defenders and with his efficiency and evasiveness we looked a much more dangerous team. 13 kicks at 100% DE in round 22 vs. the Doggies, and averaged 428m gained over his 9 games. Some SSP pickup.

If we can tidy up the centre clearance imbalance we are looking better again, and with Reeves, not Ceglar, the BF Hawk community think we are on the right track. Not sure that we can fit both Nash and Duke at the centre bounce but having one big hard tackling mid seems to help there.

Also Sam was a very good game day midfield coach with the WC in '18, so rectifying in -game imbalances will fall upon him. The critical last 12 minutes in the 3rd term of the GF, Liberatore was unable to stop Tracca and Oliver. In hindsight perhaps Dunkley, the biggest of the other mids, and a very good tackler, should have been used at those centre bounces. (Bont on bench at that time.) Who knows?

What we do know is that 3 times in '18 Sam was able to change the momentum of a game through coaching , in matches against the Pies. The first time was when Natanui went off injured early and the centre clearances had to be reset and the other two were in matches where the Eagles were 5 goals down after half-time, including the GF. Both times he was able to fire up a midfield response. Of course there was bad play by the other side, and good play by other members, plus dodgy umpiring, but I think that Sam showed he had the right stuff then, so I am happy to give him the benefit of the doubt. Anecdotally he may have used cuss words when reading the riot act to the troops, so he will have to tone things down with our young team.

IMO Sam doesn't have to do much to improve the teams overall performance, and our off season losses will be more than offset by returning players. Plus we have a brand new pick 5 to add. Already I'm tipping(hoping) he will be better than Paddy Dow!

Until March all teams have the same number of wins on the board. So we need a big pre-season,!
 

H00t

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Sep 28, 2019
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There were a few things that Clarko and his assistants couldn't manage successfully with the team. One of them was transitioning quickly out of defence, although we had a good patch when CJ and Impey were uninjured. Sam and the coaches should have a much classier and skillful back line to work with so there should be easy improvement there. Late in the year Bramble was used as the "go to" man by the other defenders and with his efficiency and evasiveness we looked a much more dangerous team. 13 kicks at 100% DE in round 22 vs. the Doggies, and averaged 428m gained over his 9 games. Some SSP pickup.
Our transition game is definitely something Sam needs to fix. Not sure the improvement will come from our back half though.

From what I can see watching on the TV it’s our structures forward of the ball that prevent us transitioning. There is a lack of clear options provided and we’ve been pretty happy with the long up the line kick.

Getting some leg speed ahead of the ball should allow more free targets when trying to transition. Plus the more options we provide the more the opposition has to try and cover. Which creates bigger holes. Something we haven’t done enough of and preferred to take the safe options both with our kicks and in providing options by running hard.
 

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natio

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I think we probably all agree Clarko became too defensive minded. Trying to cover up the cracks.

It's interesting because a lot of clarkos success was built on defensive zones etc. But when he came to the club in 2004, his message was teaching the young players how to play properly, how to move the football etc, and not be too defensive trying to protect losing or blowouts, so at times, expect some major blow outs losses. And in 2005-06 that was the case.

I thinks Sam's work with Box Hill he was implementing the same kind of process. You've got to teach young guys how to play winning football. And that involves scoring, moving the ball and transitioning into attack. Once more proficient in that, then you can focus on defensive structures.

I think teaching defence first to young players, then attack, stunts development and kills spirit. Look at Carlton under Bolton. Listen to Sam at Box Hill, and now as Coach, it seems he realises he has a pretty young list, so learning how to move the ball will be his main priority initially.
 

chopflop

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Nov 15, 2020
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I think we probably all agree Clarko became too defensive minded. Trying to cover up the cracks.

It's interesting because a lot of clarkos success was built on defensive zones etc. But when he came to the club in 2004, his message was teaching the young players how to play properly, how to move the football etc, and not be too defensive trying to protect losing or blowouts, so at times, expect some major blow outs losses. And in 2005-06 that was the case.

I thinks Sam's work with Box Hill he was implementing the same kind of process. You've got to teach young guys how to play winning football. And that involves scoring, moving the ball and transitioning into attack. Once more proficient in that, then you can focus on defensive structures.

I think teaching defence first to young players, then attack, stunts development and kills spirit. Look at Carlton under Bolton. Listen to Sam at Box Hill, and now as Coach, it seems he realises he has a pretty young list, so learning how to move the ball will be his main priority initially.
Just don't go full teague Sammy. You can't go full teague
 

Brishawk

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Jan 17, 2008
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I think we probably all agree Clarko became too defensive minded. Trying to cover up the cracks.

It's interesting because a lot of clarkos success was built on defensive zones etc. But when he came to the club in 2004, his message was teaching the young players how to play properly, how to move the football etc, and not be too defensive trying to protect losing or blowouts, so at times, expect some major blow outs losses. And in 2005-06 that was the case.

I thinks Sam's work with Box Hill he was implementing the same kind of process. You've got to teach young guys how to play winning football. And that involves scoring, moving the ball and transitioning into attack. Once more proficient in that, then you can focus on defensive structures.

I think teaching defence first to young players, then attack, stunts development and kills spirit. Look at Carlton under Bolton. Listen to Sam at Box Hill, and now as Coach, it seems he realises he has a pretty young list, so learning how to move the ball will be his main priority initially.
Many of carlton’s younger players suffered under Teague. It was the senior players that lifted under Teague. And if you look at the hawks 2005-2006, we were very defensive and everyone hated how we played. The main issue in recent years has been the performance of the midfield. That is ultimately on Clarko but I don’t think our side lacked spirit this year in most matches. We just weren’t functioning well as a unit, especially once the pressure went up.
 

bradburygold

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Oct 21, 2009
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Lemme know if wrong board but I’m in town during November, anyone know what the pre-season schedule might be like/or past years? Regular Waverley training I could check out?
 

grumbleguts

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Aug 14, 2011
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I can't believe there are still people touting the "Tanking for draft picks method." It took Melbourne 50 years for it to work. It's taking Carltank a little longer. Win every game you can, screw the draft, and win the premiership. Pretty sure if a team is tanking for draft picks they'd be pissed at winning the flag because it gives you a crap draft hand.
 

darthmann

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Jun 11, 2013
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I think when we talk defense ppl think about the back 6 but in todays football its the whole team. When the whole team was defending well we inevitably had more opportunities to score. Our real issue is our transition football. Which is part of attacking from defending. We had real issues transitioning the ball. That is where we should see the improvement
yeah, this is 100% it. Becoming better defensively seems to equate, in people's minds, to chipping it around the back half and scoring 10 goals a game bc that's what we saw with Clarko. Or flooding the back half a la Sydney 2000s and Ross Lyon teams in the late 2000s/early 2010s.

Good defense is more than just one micro strategy. It encompasses the whole field – for example, getting better defensively in the forward 50 would almost certainly lead to more goals through turnover. That's not an 'attacking mindset', or an offensive change, yet it impacts scoring positively.

Getting better defensively might be the way you structure up off turnover at the HB/Centre line, so if you do catch someone out, you have options for a direct transition if we get an intercept. Another offensive change built off defensive structures. Especially given how the AFL is played now with such a focus on scores off turnovers – these all come from defense.

I just don't see the argument against defense-first. Every team that has won the flag since, I don't even know when, has been a top defensive side in the league. According to squiggle (I'm not 100% sure I'm reading the graphs right, and how tight the metrics are, so bear with me) every premiership side since 2000 has had a defensive rating of over 60 points. For context on what that means, this year Hawthorn's defensive rating ranged from mid-40's to high 50s. Our offense never breached 50.

In our premiership years (and some of the other premiers like Geelong) we were rated in the 65s-70s offensively. In 2021, the only 2 teams even coming close to this were Melbourne (just over 66) and the WB (64). Melbourne are the only team since our three-peat to have an ORTG of over 65. So there's a very, very clear trend of defense-first.

Brisbane, well known for being a bit of a 'glass cannon' are rated pretty much offensively/defensively evenly. Essendon, the other glass cannon team, actually prioritised their defense by the end of the year to a point where it outrated their offensive metrics (as well as Hawthorn's defensive rating).

Carlton regressed substantially on defensive metrics, though their offense improved. This did not translate to more wins – in fact, if you adjust for the 25% reduction in games in 2020 to 2021, they went backwards despite improving their offense. Collingwood the same.

By the end of the season, pretty much all the clubs to the right of the graph (so had high defensive ratings) were finalists: Port, Melbourne, Geelong, WB, Essendon, Sydney, St Kilda (the exception) and Brisbane.

So maybe I'm just a moron and reading the graph wrong, but from what I can see there isn't much evidence to suggest that offense at the expense of defense works at all. The inverse seems to be true – greater defense ultimately leads to improved offense (Melbourne went from being middle of the pack offensively to being by far the best offensive and defensive team by the finals series).

We need to fix a lot of things in our side, offensively and defensively. But it seems pretty clear-cut to me: Defense leads to offense in the modern game.
 

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Beandip

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Man... after seeing and hearing Adrian Hickmott in the latest video... he's just Clarko with a beard for disguise right?

#successionPlanLives
 

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