Melbourne great Garry Lyon believes the age profile of Hawthorn’s list is an “undeniable” factor that could be starting to set in.
With an average age of just under 25, the Hawks entered 2019 with the oldest list in the competition after topping up with mature-age recruits such as Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara, Chad Wingard and Tom Scully.
“The undeniable thing though is the age factor,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
“It’s starting to kick in and maybe starting to bite … and you can’t turn that around.”
Following their five-point loss to Melbourne on Saturday, coach Alastair Clarkson declared Hawthorn as a “middle of the road side” with their season precariously placed with 3-4 win-loss record.
While admitting there is a tipping point, St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt says the Hawks cannot be written off while Clarkson is at the helm.
“They were really a middle of the road team last year that managed to finish top four,” Riewoldt said.
“I think we always have to just respect the level of confidence that exists within that group and the level of expertise of Alastair Clarkson to be able to find a way.
“There is a tipping point, so that’s why I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop away this year.”
Hawthorn take on in-form GWS at the MCG on Sunday.
Listen to Nick Riewoldt’s chat on SEN Breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson in the player below