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AFL 2016 Rd 01 - Geelong v Hawthorn

Will Langford booted two second-quarter goals on Monday

We've got different names in there, but we know they can do the role

HAWTHORN triple premiership forward Jack Gunston is confident the players being introduced to the Hawks' line-up can get the job done this season.

After kicking three goals in Monday's 30-point loss to Geelong, Gunston told that although some of the faces had changed, the team believed in coach Alastair Clarkson's system and each newcomer's ability to perform within it.

"We've obviously got different names in there, but we know they can do the role," Gunston said. 

"We know they can come in and play. They have been in the Box Hill system for a few years now and we have the belief they can come in."

Three players who didn't make Hawthorn's 22 for the Grand Final last year look set to perform immediately.

Billy Hartung, who was desperately unlucky to not play in last year's decider, was solid with 24 disposals and a goal as an outside runner against the Cats.

The contested ball-winning of Will Langford, who played in the 2014 premiership team, helped get Hawthorn back into the game in the third quarter.

Langford finished the game with 13 contested possessions and two goals.

Defender Angus Litherland, who has been on the list for four seasons, was also handy, rebounding the ball from the defensive 50 six times and laying five tackles.

The developing Jonathan O'Rourke, James Sicily and first-gamer Marc Pittonet have played just 15 games of AFL football between them, and only six combined with the Hawks.

While they battled with the pace of the game at times on Monday, they should be better for the experience.

Gunston was happy with their efforts.

"It is going to take time for young guys when they come into the side to get that belief and confidence, we have all been through it," he said.

"I thought those boys performed all right."

He said the reasons for the loss had nothing to do with personnel, feeling Geelong was just better than Hawthorn in crucial areas. 

"They won the hunt in the first half," Gunston said.

"It's an opportunity lost."