AFL grand final 2013: Hawthorn confident of repelling Fremantle frenzy in season decider (ABC) - ( 4U5TR4L14 )
Grand final favourite Hawthorn is relaxed, composed and confident of erasing the disappointment of last year’s premiership defeat.
While a sea of purple supporters are hopeful of Fremantle capturing the AFL flag in its first grand final appearance, Hawks fans have faith in their experienced squad.
Star forward Lance Franklin’s outlook towards the premiership decider this afternoon is typical of his side’s approach to the match.
Franklin said he is looking forward to playing in another grand final but is keeping a lid on the excitement.
“I just can’t wait for the game to start,” Franklin told Grandstand at Friday’s grand final parade through Melbourne.
“Its the same feeling [as in previous grand finals], it never changes for a grand final. They are all the same. I can’t wait to get out there.”
The Hawks are fortunate to have many players returning from last year’s grand final loss to Sydney and are expecting to draw on that experience.
Midfielder Shaun Burgoyne, who was a hero for the Hawks against the Cats last week, is one of a number of leaders on the field.
“I consider myself a leader, we have a number of leaders in the club,” Burgoyne said.
“We were lucky enough to go through this process last year. Hopefully that helps us out but we find out after the siren tomorrow.”
But the Hawks are taking nothing for granted and are wary of a Fremantle side that comes into the grand final in good form.
Burgoyne is expecting a tough game with the Dockers out to challenge hard for every possession.
“We know what they are going to bring and we are fully expecting it,” he said.
“It’s what you want from a grand final – a high pressure game, so bring it on.”
Last year’s loss won’t give us the edge: Hodge
Captain Luke Hodge said the memory of last year’s loss is burning inside many of his players but that is not going to get his side over the line today.
“Last year was a motivator during preseason but as far as a motivator now, we’re just focused on what we can do tomorrow,” Hodge said.
“At this time of year you need to be playing your best football and we believe both sides are.”
Opposing captain Matthew Pavlich has made no secret about they way the Dockers are going to play the game.
Last week the Dockers produced a high-pressure game that muscled the Swans out of the contest.
Pavlich indicated the Dockers will aim to carry out a similar game plan against the Hawks.
“It’s about reward for effort, we know what it takes,” Pavlich said.
“If we do bring the pressure game we’re a strong chance to be there at the end.”