Sam Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara at Hawthorn's 2022 team photo day. Picture: AFL Photos

IF HAWTHORN coach Sam Mitchell had his house riding on a centre clearance, Jaeger O'Meara would be one of the first men picked to attend the bounce.

But Mitchell is conducting a juggling act in his first year as Hawks boss, balancing immediate results against the long-term development of his playing group.

It means O'Meara and fellow experienced gun Tom Mitchell will continue sacrificing midfield time for the overall betterment of the team in pursuit of their next premiership.

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That focus has led to younger teammates Jai Newcombe, Josh Ward and Conor Nash being given opportunities at stoppages this season.

"We have five or six guys running through centre bounces and the easy thing to do would be just to put Jaeger in every one of them," Hawks coach Mitchell said.

Josh Ward celebrates a Hawthorn goal against Geelong in R5, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"But for every one that he's in, it means that someone else is out.

"Really what we're trying to do is get a high level of production from the midfield and by doing that it means no one of them will be a big shining light at the moment.

"At some point that might happen, but what we're looking for is strong team performance."

For now, the plan is working on multiple levels, with the Hawks boasting a positive 3-2 record ahead of their Anzac Day meeting with Sydney in Launceston.

Newcombe won a Rising Star nomination for his breakout 31-disposal effort in the Easter Monday upset of Geelong, and first-round draft pick Ward has impressed in his debut season.

"Jaeger and Tom are still playing strong roles while we're getting Newcombe and Ward and those guys strong development as well," Mitchell said.

Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara take the field for Hawthorn against Geelong in round five, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"That's the balancing act for every team.

"Even a team who are right at the top of their game are continuing to develop their next wave (of players)."

Hawthorn's ruck stocks took a hit when Ned Reeves (shoulder) joined Ben McEvoy (neck) on the injury list, but Mitchell said Max Lynch is no certainty to return against the Swans.

Lynch missed two weeks because of concussion, one under COVID-19 protocols and another after an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting.

He was named in the extended squad, however, Mitchell was pleased with the work of Jacob Koschitzke and Nash in the ruck after Reeves was hurt early against the Cats.