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How the flag was won
How the flag was won

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson killed off Fremantle's famed defensive aura less than 48 hours after the Dockers mauled Sydney in last year's preliminary final, according to the inside story on the club's 11th premiership.

Hawthorn yesterday launched Playing To Win, a book which detailed how they won their second flag under Clarkson.

It revealed how the coaches began the week by addressing Fremantle's pressure tactics at the first team meeting. They presented Champion Data figures that showed Hawthorn were No.1 for "pressure applied". The Dockers were ranked fifth.

"What we wanted to do on that Monday before the grand final was tell our players, 'There's all this hype, but these are the stats, boys," assistant coach Chris Fagan said in the book.

"We're No.1 for pressure applied, and in this year's finals series Freo have played two games, we've played two games and we've conceded fewer inside 50s and fewer shots on goal.

"Clarko and I were very heavy on the Monday about educating our players and saying, 'Boys, the footy world is not talking about this, but we're actually the best at this. That's going to be the thing that wins us the grand final, not necessarily our ball movement'."

The move worked and the grand final stats then reinforced the point. Hawthorn led Fremantle in tackles, clearances, contested possessions, contested marks, inside 50s and one per centers as they won by 15 points.

Playing To Win also revealed the selfless job 2008 premiership captain Sam Mitchell performed while being tagged by Dockers star Ryan Crowley.

Crowley was superb all season and finished fourth in the Doig Medal after constantly shutting down the opposition's best midfielder.

He restricted Mitchell to just 12 disposals - his lowest tally since round two in 2009.

But the book revealed that Mitchell played as an annoying decoy on grand final day.

"The Hawks had done their homework on Freo's Sandilands, and Mitchell's task was to take Crowley into the giant ruckman's 'hit zone' at stoppages and so restrict the ability of Freo's other on-ballers, Nat Fyfe, Michael Barlow and David Mundy, to get clean possessions and easy exits," it says in the book.

"He performed it with cool efficiency, laying almost as many tackles as he won kicks and having a positive impact in some 30 contests without actually getting the ball."

Hawthorn are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the famous 1988-89 team - the only Hawks side to win consecutive flags.

Docker Nick Suban has already been used as an example of what they'll confront in 2014 after being part of a video clip shown at the club's annual general meeting.

Two clips were shown. The first featured devastated Hawthorn players watching Sydney celebrate in 2012. The second caught Hawthorn's infinite joy of 2013, then cut to one of the devastated Dockers, Suban.