The West

Jarryd Roughead
Jarryd Roughead

Powerhouse forward Jarryd Roughead says Hawthorn's buildup to the 2010 season could hardly have gone better.

As reigning champions last year, the Hawks limped into the 2009 campaign and were unable to secure a berth in the finals.

This time around, they have been bolstered by a much longer pre-season campaign, the fruits of which were on show in the opening-round drubbing of Richmond in the NAB Cup.

"I think it's just the confidence the group's had out of the pre-season," Roughead said on Tuesday ahead of Friday night's NAB quarter-final clash fellow premiership contenders the Western Bulldogs.

"We came back a month earlier than what we did the previous year and to have so many blokes out on the park this time of the year is good.

"This time last year we had a few Box Hill (VFL) boys play in the NAB Cup.

"To have 30 nearly 40 players to pick from is just really good for the team.

"We are pretty confident within the group that we've had a good pre-season and we've played well against Richmond and hopefully we can do the same against the Bulldogs on Friday night."

The team will be boosted gradually over the next few weeks with the inclusion of midfielder recruit Shaun Burgoyne, Chance Bateman and small forward Rhan Hooper while ex-North Melbourne backman Josh Gibson will don the brown and gold for the first time against the Bulldogs.

"He'll be running around up in defence which will be good for the club and good for him," Roughead said.

In the next couple of weeks we'll also probably have Shaun and Changa (Bateman) coming back as well so that will really strengthen us up.

"I think Rhan is still about another week away. Next week we'll bring him, Changa and Shaun back and that will almost make us full strength."

In an unusual initiative, the Hawks invited former NBL player Matt Shanahan to training to help the players with their mobility.

"The game's changing a fair bit and to have a bloke like Matt who's played a fair bit of basketball to come down and help with a bit of footwork is always going to help out," Roughead said.

The West Australian

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