Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson does not expect the Hawks to be concentrating on avenging their poor 2009 season when they play Melbourne in Saturday’s round one clash at the MCG.
The Hawks endured a disappointing season last year by missing the finals despite winning the 2008 premiership.
But Clarkson says those memories are likely to be a major motivating factor later in the year, rather than Saturday.
“For 16 sides (it’s) just the excitement of finally being able to play a serious game of footy at this point of time,” Clarkson said.
“I’d reckon trying to have some time of revenge for last year’s performance might come later in the season if we participate in the finals and that sort of thing.
“But in the early part of the season it’s just the excitement of playing games again.”
The Hawks will blood two new players, but half-forward Cyril Rioli and new recruit Shaun Burgoyne will both be missing.
Clarkson says Rioli was underdone after a groin problem, and that the Hawks are being cautious with former Port Adelaide star Burgoyne given his past knee and hamstring troubles.