Tim Watson has labelled Alastair Clarkson an "absolute genius", saying the Hawks are still a top-four side due to his phenomenal coaching efforts alone.
After beginning last season with four straight losses, there was murmurs that Hawthorn's golden age had reached a crashing end and that Alastair Clarkson may be looking towards a different future.
They all-but-saved that season, finishing narrowly outside the finals and 12 months on and the Hawks are back in the running yet again. It's a dynasty that may never end, says Watson, as long as Clarkson's at the helm.
“They’ve reconditioned, re-energised and retooled,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“They got in some new parts, they may not be as good as the parts that they previously had, but they are a top four side, Hawthorn.
“After two rounds, I’m saying they’re a top four side."
A demolishing of Collingwood in the opening round signalled two things:
First, Hawthorn are far from pushovers and will dominate other sides hoping to be at eighth spot or there-about. Second, Collingwood are riding their luck hanging onto Nathan Buckley. But I guess we already knew that.
The last-gasp defeat of Geelong last weekend reminded us all of the character and grit within Clarkson sides. The experience and cool-heads under pressure and a ripper forward line.
“It (their forward line) hums. They defend probably better than any side that I’ve seen over the first two weeks and then when they go on the attack, they find ways of attacking quicker than any other side in the competition," Watson said.
“He (Clarkson) is an absolute genius.”