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HAVING been omitted for Hawthorn's Grand Final line-up, youngster Billy Hartung says he will use the sight of his teammates celebrating a premiership as motivation for next year and beyond.
The 20-year-old was dropped by the Hawks on Thursday night to make way for Jack Gunston, who kicked four goals in the Hawks' comprehensive win over West Coast.
The Hawks have won flags in both seasons Hartung has been at the club after being drafted in 2013, and he said he will continue to strive to join the group of premiership players at the club.
"I've got to use this to try and build on my career and really move forward," Hartung told AFL.com.au.
"I know next year I'm going to put my head down and work extremely hard to be try to be in the position the boys are in today. After seeing them last year and this year, that's where I want to be.
"I want to be on the MCG on the last day of the year and trying to hold up the premiership cup."
Hartung played 20 games in 2015, but was used as the substitute in the Hawks' semi-final and preliminary finals. He was the substitute 10 times this season, the rule's last year in existence.
The quick and explosive midfielder was a victim of minimal game time when it came to selection ahead of the Eagles clash, with coach Alastair Clarkson saying he was unlucky not to be in the team.
Hartung said it was a tough game to watch from the sidelines but that he was rapt for his teammates who had achieved their third-straight flag, becoming just the fifth club to claim the feat.
"I was really excited for the boys and at the end I was really proud of what they've been able to achieve not just this year but over the past three or four years," he said.
"It's a remarkable effort from the boys and although I was disappointed not to be playing, I'm not the only one to have been in this position before.
"I'm really proud of what they've been able to achieve, even though I wasn't a part of it. They've gotten around me and made me feel like I'm a part of it, so that makes it a lot easier."
Hartung is likely to be among a number of faces who will continue to regenerate the Hawks' team in 2016 as they search for an amazing fourth consecutive premiership.
James Sicily, Jed Anderson, Angus Litherland and Dan Howe are expected to take a step-up next season with more senior experience.