FORMER Hawthorn star Jordan Lewis says the Hawks need to “regroup” and move on after their dismal start to the season.
Hawthorn copped an 86-point thumping at the hands of Geelong on Monday, just six days after being beaten by the same margin by the Suns.
Lewis said while the 0-4 start to the season was unfamiliar territory for many of his ex-teammates, they had to bounce back.
“As hard as it is, you’ve got to regroup,” Lewis said on Fox Footy’s AFL 360.
“You’ve got to see this weekend as a new opportunity like Fremantle have done.
“Fremantle got smashed in the first two rounds, came out and won their next two games and all of a sudden they’re forgotten about.”
New Hawthorn skipper Jarryd Roughead has been winless so far in his four games since taking on the captaincy.
Lewis said while he was generally just happy to see his former teammate back playing after recovering from cancer, he felt for Roughead and the Hawks, given the tough start to the season.
“They’re going through a tough period of time,” Lewis said.
“I’m just happy that Roughy’s out there.
“I’m happy in a sense that he’s out there, I feel for him as a leader of the football club and they’re going through such a tough period at the moment and they’ve probably never been in this position for a long period of time.”
LISTEN TO THE LATEST FOX FOOTY PODCAST BELOW, OR TAP HERE TO SUBSCRIBE IN ITUNES
Particularly worrying for Hawthorn is the lack of young talent coming through the ranks early in the season.
While Sydney, which has also lost all four games, has blooded several young players in the first month, the Hawks are still largely relying on senior players, aside from gun young defender Ryan Burton.
The Hawks were without a first-round draft pick last year and will see this year’s selection go to St Kilda as part of the trade for Jaeger O’Meara.
Lewis said the club’s slide was “inevitable”, given its focus on immediate and short-term success — which obviously paid off with four premierships — in recent years.
“I think for a long period of time there, we obviously valued performance,” he said.
“This was inevitable really, wasn’t it? You come to a period of time where you’ve been so successful, you haven’t got the ability to get early draft picks and you’ve got to trade for mature players, which they’ve done really well.
“So the youth coming through isn’t the top-end talent that a Melbourne has, that a GWS has. “Remember, GWS have got a lot of the talent over the past however many years, so the draft hasn’t been that deep.”
Aside from O’Meara and Mitchell, Hawthorn has a collection of players — including Billy Hartung, Jonathan O’Rourke and James Siciliy — yet to fully lock down a senior spot.
Lewis said the onus now was on Hawthorn’s younger players to step up and help arrest the decline.
“They’ve got to rethink where they’re at,” he said.
“The older players were probably the better players on the weekend — you think about Hodge, (he was) best on ground.
“So I think it’s now a place where these young kids have to really step up and contribute, otherwise they’ll just keep going the way they’re going.”
LIVE stream every game of every round of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season on FOX SPORTS. Get your free 2-week FOXTEL PLAY trial and start watching in minutes. SIGN UP NOW >>
Originally published as How struggling Hawks bounce back: Lewis
SOURCE: newsnow sport