After the first plane landed on the tarmac at the Australian War Memorial on Tuesday morning, the Hawks took a deep breath and set their eyes on a different city for the final few weeks of the campaign.
After the Hawks won their first premiership last season, their final home game was played at the Memorial, where they won the first two games by a combined score of 29-13.
This year, the team will be flying back home from the final two rounds of the AFL season, a game they are currently ranked second in the Western Bulldogs’ division.
AAP/ABC News 13 Hawks captain Matthew Pavlich said he hoped the Hawks could make a strong impression at the event.
“It’s a good game to play and a good venue,” he said.
“We’ve got to be careful not to let that dampen our enthusiasm for the season.”
There’s a lot of players who have a lot to prove this year and it’s going to be a lot more challenging than last year.
“But the big thing is the Hawks have a great team spirit, so we can build on that and we’re looking forward to it.”
Pavlich said the Hawks would try to play to their strengths, particularly in defence, but said they also had to keep their focus on playing the style they do best.
“The style we play is going to carry us to the next round,” he told ABC radio.
“So we’re just going to have to do that and keep our heads down.”
The Hawks will travel to Geelong on Friday to face Essendon and the Cats are also on the road for the first time this year.
The Hawks are also facing a tough test against the Bombers, who have won five of their past six games at the stadium.
“Our goal is to play the style we have been playing,” Pavlich told Channel Nine’s Sunrise.
“And I’m sure that’s what’s on their minds.
We have to put them under pressure and we have to keep pushing.”