Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge says although you can’t win this premiership at this time of the year, you can lose it.
Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge says although you can’t win this premiership at this time of the year, you can lose it. JOE CASTRO AAP

Hawks get a good session Hawks honing to stay ahead of pack

THE mastermind game plan used to annihilate Sydney in one of the most lopsided grand finals in recent AFL history is nothing but a memory at Hawthorn.

The back-to-back premiers are on the Sunshine Coast testing the new limits of their bolstered squad and revolutionising strategies to stay ahead of the pack next season.

"If you keep doing the same game plan you're going to plateau," skipper Luke Hodge said after yesterday morning's session at Maroochydore.

"Teams are going to jump past you, so you come up here to try different things, see what's going to work for your side."

Hawthorn has won more than 75% of its games in each of the past four seasons, largely because of coach Alistair Clarkson's ability to keep his teams ahead of the curve.

Another impressive recruitment haul at Waverley has given the 10-year coach even more to work with as he searches for a fourth premiership.

With the side arriving on the Coast on Friday for an eight-day camp, Clarkson plans to fast-track new players and test plans he has devised since his team's 63-point grand final destruction of Sydney.

Fans flocked to a skills session at the Maroochydore Roos' Fishermans Road ground yesterday morning and today the squad will be at Mooloolaba for a boxing and circuit session.

While the camp gives the club's Queensland-based fans a rare opportunity to see their favourite players in the flesh, there is no doubting the real agenda of this trip.

"You can't win it at this time of year, but you can lose it," Hodge said.

"Training, it's all about the intensity."

He believed the side was ready to pick up where it left off last year.

"We're here for a fairly serious reason I guess, to prepare for the 2015 season," he said.

"We've had a couple of good years the last two and we've had two camps up here prior to that.

"The weather hasn't been great for us, but we still got a quality session.

"The boys did some good running and the skills were handy considering the amount of moisture we had on the deck."

The Hawks came to Mooloolaba before the 2013 season, but had their 2014 pre-season camp in South Africa.

Greater Western Sydney will be in Noosa this week.