Former St Kilda midfielder Nick Dal Santo has gone the early call, saying he feels teams will go past the Hawks in 2019.
“I don’t think the Hawthorn Football Club play finals in 2019,” Dal Santo told SEN Breakfast.
“This is not a knock on the Hawks, I don’t think they’re going to get any worse, I just think teams are going to pass them.
“There’s enough teams sitting back, ready to launch and take the next step that I think the Hawks will give way to them.”
Dal Santo is confident the Hawks will eventually return to the top, however.
“Their time will come, the Hawks, they can turn things around quickly, but I don’t think they’ll improve this year,” he said.
Hawthorn finished fourth in 2018 before being eliminated in straight sets by the Tigers and Demons.
They added Chad Wingard, Tom Scully and Jack Scrimshaw, losing Ryan Burton and Taylor Duryea.
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