Sydney's co-captain Jarrad McVeigh attempts to smother the kick from Brad Sewell in the grand final. Photo: Paul Rovere
HAWTHORN midfielder Brad Sewell has urged teammates to banish memories of their grand final defeat, declaring that dwelling on the past could impact on their hopes for redemption next season.
The Hawks' senior players resumed training on Monday, joining their younger teammates, draftees, boom trade pick-up Brian Lake and new assistant coach Brett Ratten at Waverley.
While the likes of Luke Hodge (knee), Shaun Burgoyne (ankle) and Jordan Lewis (wrist) were on modified programs, Sewell was one of the club's key members who already looked in prime condition despite having a two-month lay-off.
The Hawks were criticised by some last year for too often publicly expressing the pain of a preliminary final defeat to Collingwood in 2011 but this time appear likely to handle their stinging grand final loss to the Swans in a different manner.
Sewell said the Hawks had a more positive mindset than they had a year earlier.
"I think so. You learn a hell of a lot from those experiences. You take a lot out of them and come back and prepare and you go again, that's all you can really ask for," he said.
"The guys have certainly come back in good nick and ready to train hard again.
"For us, our group is really a young, strong, professional group. You obviously have spent a little bit of time thinking about things and then it's a matter of putting that behind you and you gear up and go again. We are chomping at the bit to do everything that we possibly can to give ourselves a chance (of winning a premiership)."
In the immediate weeks following the grand final, Sewell admitted to regularly replaying the grand final in his own mind.
He had a pair of difficult snaps for goal late in the final term which could have secured victory had he kicked straight. The robust onballer would also have likely been the Norm Smith medallist had the result gone the other way.
It wasn't to be, and the Hawks now begin another summer slog determined to avenge what many of their supporters feel was a wasted opportunity.
"There are times when you can't not think about it, that's regardless of the result, had it gone which ever way," Sewell said.
"I think it's important to sit back and reflect to a certain extent but that certainly doesn't last too long. We certainly know that in this game you can't afford to dwell on things that have happened in the past because you will very quickly get overtaken."
Lake appears to have dropped weight and looked in excellent condition when running a series of laps at Waverley.
The former Western Bulldog and All Australian will have an integral role at full-back next season, a position that previously had been a weakness for the Hawks when dealing with opposition power forwards.
"It's great to have 'Lakey' come into the side as well. He is really experienced, he has played in many, many finals campaigns and is a proven senior player," Sewell said.
Hawks football manager Mark Evans revealed to Fairfax Media earlier this month Hodge would be treated cautiously over summer, and could even miss the opening month of the home-and-away season if that meant his knee would be primed for later in the campaign.