Burgoyne, Rioli to boost Hawk midfield
Wednesday February 17, 2010
HAWTHORN skipper Sam Mitchell is confident his team's already potent midfield will be bolstered by the return of Cyril Rioli and recruit Shaun Burgoyne, hopefully before round one of the season.Burgoyne has only recently started training with the playing group after recovering from knee surgery, while the club is taking a cautious approach with Rioli who experienced groin soreness in the lead up to the club's NAB Cup opener against Richmond last weekend.Mitchell had 38 touches in the Hawks' 73-point win, during which the midfield demolished the Tigers.And he said the midfield was only going to improve with the inclusion of Burgoyne and Rioli."Shaun has had a long surgery and a long rehab program and he's done everything and is on track," Mitchell said."Our aim has always been to get him up and going for round one, so whether he plays a half or a quarter or full game or two full games before round one, we're not sure."'With Cyril, he's just popped up a couple of weeks ago so we're still waiting to see. If all goes well he should be thereabouts for the first game."He's got some groin soreness and tightness and it didn't settle down straight away."If we had to play the grand final tomorrow he could play, but there is not a lot of benefit having him run around in the NAB Cup and really push himself when we've got 26 weeks to go in the season."While superstar forward Lance Franklin kicked five goals in Saturday night's win in Launceston, he sat out the final quarter after copping a corked buttock.And while he showed some discomfort on the training track yesterday, Mitchell said he was expected to be right for the Hawks' round-two cup clash with the Western Bulldogs in a fortnight."'If he doesn't play I don't think it will because of the corky, it will be for other reasons €” for whatever his best preparation is and that's the same with a few other guys too."He also expects defender Josh Gibson to play in the next game after he experienced hamstring tightness, while the fitness staff believed Rhan Hooper needed a bit more conditioning before his first game of the year.Mitchell said he was looking forward to taking on the Western Bulldogs, who progressed to the second round of the NAB Cup after defeating the Brisbane Lions on Sunday."They're a very good side and have been for a long time now and have probably got a little bit of a different structure now with [Barry] Hall."It will be good to see how some of our structures match up," Mitchell said.