Hawthorn played a will-he or won’t-he game with forward Jack Gunston in the lead-up to Saturday’s grand final but the man himself says he’s known he would be playing all week.
Both Gunston and Ryan Schoenmakers revealed on Friday they had known of their inclusion in the grand final 22 for several days.
Gunston, 23, dismissed any speculation he would be going into the match underdone.
“It’s 100 per cent, absolutely 100 per cent,” he said at the grand final parade.
“I wasn’t close to missing at all, I was ready to go from Monday once I started running.
“I don’t know if there’s an injury deep down there but I’m good to go.”
No Hawk has kicked as many goals as Gunston this season, who played every home and away game before injuring his ankle in the club’s qualifying final loss to West Coast.
The last-quarter injury suffered in Perth looked to be the unfortunate exclamation point on the Hawks’ 32-point loss, with speculation his injury would rule him out until next season.
After sitting out two finals wins, Gunston has been given the nod by Hawthorn’s medical team to take his place in the grand final, much to his relief.
He said being told earlier in the week saved him having to sweat on Thursday’s selection news.
“The emotional roller coaster was watching the last two finals, I’m not great at watching the boys play,” he said.
“They’re the ones that make me nervous.”
While Gunston is looking for his third-straight flag on Saturday, Schoenmakers will be playing for his first.
The South Australian was a grand final loser in 2012 against Sydney, missing the 2013 decider after a serious knee injury suffered early in the season.
After missing last year win over the Swans, he gets another chance at premiership glory against West Coast.
He said there “weren’t any nerves, only excitement” after the benefit of being told earlier in the week.
“I just wanted to ease my mind I suppose and not make it such a big deal so I could prepare for the game,” he said.
Schoenmakers said win or loss, his teammates would ensure Billy Hartung – who is the unlucky omission for the grand final – knew his place in the Hawthorn side.
“He’s been a great contributor through the year so we’ll all reward him in-house,” he said.
“I’m sure everyone has got around him at some stage, it’s heartbreaking but there’s a story like that every year and we know as a team he’s been a great contributor, fantastic.”