HAWTHORN has flagged a few subtle changes in 2016, but a new captain will not be among them.
Luke Hodge will skipper the Hawks for the sixth season, after being re-elected to the position by his teammates and coaches during the club's pre-season training camp on the Sunshine Coast.
Talk of a change had been in the air as the Hawks recalibrate ahead of their push for a fourth straight premiership, but vice-captains Jordan Lewis and Jarryd Roughead will need to wait at least another 12 months.
"It's something that I've always had a passion for and that I've loved doing over the past five years and I'm rapt to be doing it again," Hodge told the club website.
"I've always said I'll do whatever is best for the football club and I stand by that. We had a vote up here and the players elected me to be captain again.
"The coaches ticked it off, as did the board, and I'm honoured to captain again in 2016."
Lewis admitted in an interview last week that he was keen to be captain if invited. Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson was said to be mulling a change in the knowledge that his playing group contains more on-field leaders than any club in the competition.
And it came after a rocky 2015 for Hodge in which the joy of the premiership hat-trick was tempered a little by two suspensions that cost him five matches in total and a late-season booking on a drink-driving charge.
The Hawks transitioned superbly from Sam Mitchell to Hodge in 2011 and the template for a seamless transition to Lewis and Hodge was in place.
But the Hawks remain the envy of the competition with Hodge as their skipper. He was named the AFL's best captain in by the AFLPA in 2014 and backed that up with a second place finish in 2015. And he captained Australia against Ireland in the International Rules series last month.
The 31-year-old is playing as well as ever. In 2015 he finished in the top five at the Hawks for disposals and clearances and Clarkson was able to throw him around the field as the defensive general, midfield clearance expert or one-out forward, and his trademark courage and hardness was still clearly in evidence.
The only change to the Hawthorn leadership group in 2016 will be the addition of midfield speedster Isaac Smith to the group that includes Hodge, Jordan Lewis, Jarryd Roughead, Sam Mitchell and Josh Gibson.