Temora AFL star Luke Breust is determined to bounce back from what he describes as a ‘tough’ 2017 season with the Hawks.
Speaking from Hawthorn’s open training session in Moe on Wednesday, Breust revealed he was enjoying one of his best ever pre-seasons.
The three-time premiership Hawk admitted he was a little bit disappointed with his own season last year, as Hawthorn missed finals for the first time since 2009.
“I was a little bit disappointed with my season last year so I’m looking forward to, I guess, having a stronger season in 2018,” Breust said.
“My body is feeling really good, it’s probably the best start I’ve had to a pre-season in a number of years so I’m really looking forward to the season.”
A number of the Hawks premiership stars were put under the microscope early last year as Hawthorn only managed one win from their opening six games.
Breust said he found it difficult being on the wrong end of criticism in the media.
“It was tough but I guess that’s just routine media and AFL scrutiny that you get these days,” he said.
“You try and put that behind you, stick together as a group. You have a bit of a joke around with a number of the guys whose names were getting mentioned but it’s more about getting back to the process, what you can do and what you can control. That’s what I tried to do last year.”
Breust is upbeat about the Hawks’ chances this year. He believes a return to the top four is within reach.
“Obviously last year was a disappointment, to miss finals,” he said.
“The good thing about last year was that we did get a lot of games into young guys, we’re looking forward to 2018 and how those young guys can continue to improve and come on and see what happens.
“Hopefully we can finish top four and then we go from there.”
Having missed finals, Hawthorn have been back at training some time. Breust said the group had really bonded over the pre-season and believes that can help the Hawks rise again.
“This is probably the closest the group has been in a number of years, I think,” he said.
“We had great pre-season camps in New Zealand and we got a great session out, in terms of footy, in Queenstown and then we had a great trip to Peel Forest for a few days just to get to know each other and test our limits so I think the group’s in a great spot.”
Breust, just 27, has three premiership and 304 goals to his name from 161 games.