Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson admits it'll be hard to deny Jacob Koschitzke a spot for the AFL opening round after the untried key forward kicked six goals against North Melbourne at Arden Street on Saturday.
The Hawks led by only four points late in the second quarter of the practice match before 20-year-old Koschitzke stepped in and tore the game wide open, booting four majors in a row either side of halftime in the Hawks' 39-point victory.
A senior debut in a fortnight's time against Essendon seems inevitable.
"Kicking six goals in the last trial game doesn't hurt putting your hand up for selection in round one," Clarkson said.
"He's worked hard. Like a lot of lads that come into the AFL system, it just takes them a fair while for their bodies to adjust to the demands and rigours of AFL footy and he had his hiccups along the way, especially his first two years.
"Over the summer he's really embraced the forward role and we saw a great return for him today."
Koschitzke put on an impressive display of set-shot goalkicking in particular as Hawthorn got out to a 57-point lead at one stage, before running out 17.18 (120) to 12.9 (81) victors.
After finishing in the bottom four last year they're building some meaningful momentum heading into the new season, backing up their victory over Western Bulldogs last week.
As for the Kangaroos, who finished second-bottom last year, the early signs for 2021 are worrying considering they lost to St Kilda by 91 points last week.
North were missing Ben Cunnington, Robbie Tarrant, Jed Anderson, Trent Dumont and Jared Polec, but it could hardly be used as an excuse as Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunston, Chad Wingard, Luke Breust, Jaeger O'Meara, Jack Scrimshaw, and James Sicily (ACL), were all absent for the Hawks.
Koschitzke wasn't the only youngster to impress for Hawthorn, with third-year defender Changkuoth Jiath (24 disposals) looking very strong off half-back with his intercept marking and ability to launch numerous rebounds key pillars of his game.
New draftee Tyler Brockman set up the victory with three goals in the first quarter.
Hawthorn were also well-served by Liam Shiels, who had 33 touches and a goal, Harry Morrison (30 and a goal), new recruit Tom Phillips (30 and a goal) and ruckman Jon Ceglar.
Dom Tyson (23 and three goals) was North Melbourne's best player and coach David Noble said the forgotten on-baller was a strong chance to play in round one after only managing three games in the past two seasons.
Former No.4 draft pick Luke Davies-Uniacke (21 and a goal) also put in a strong showing in the Kangaroos' midfield, while Josh Walker booted three majors and former Magpie Jaidyn Stephenson had a team-high 25 touches to go with seven score involvements.
Cunnington (concussion), Anderson (calf) and Polec (hamstring) are all good chances to face Port Adelaide on March 21, but Dumont (calf) will struggle to do so.
Australian Associated Press