MELBOURNE _ Hawthorn's second AFL premiership in six years was as much a victory for how coach Alastair Clarkson has reshaped his side since their unexpected 2008 flag as fulfilment of that promise.
The Hawks' grinding 11.11 (77) to 8.14 (62) grand final win over Fremantle made dual premiership players of 10 Hawks, including Shaun Burgoyne, who won his first with Port Adelaide in 2004.
But while many of the veterans of the 2008 triumph were crucial, most notably 2008 Norm Smith Medallist Luke Hodge, who again proved himself one of the AFL's greatest big-game performers, two relative Hawthorn newcomers stole the show.
Brian Lake's Norm Smith Medal was the ultimate vindication of the decision to recruit the clever 31-year-old marking defender from the Western Bulldogs last off-season.
Lake first blunted Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich as the Dockers managed just one goal in the first half, then took timely marks in defence as Fremantle threatened a second-half comeback.
The recruitment of Jack Gunston from Adelaide a year earlier also paid off handsomely.
Gunston kicked a game-high four goals, matching his preliminary final heroics, and his three-goal first-half was priceless, given the sides kicked a combined six between them to that point.
If, as many expect, Lance Franklin announces in the coming days he is headed to Greater Western Sydney, the Hawks appear well-placed to handle it.
While Franklin wasn't giving away his intentions, he was in tears in the rooms post-match as he spoke of what Hawthorn has meant to him.
``All the football club has been a massive part of me, and I love them,'' he told Fox Footy.
Key defender Josh Gibson, ruckman-forward David Hale and the silky-skilled Burgoyne have also been hand-picked from rivals to fill problem areas over the past four years and all were crucial in this year's finals.
``We've had to turn over our list since 2008 and do it with a different group of players,'' Clarkson said.
``There's probably eight or nine that played in the 2008 flag but there was a fair change since that time.
``Part of that was to go and recruit players from other clubs that we really identified as (meeting) needs for us.
``They've been first-class.''
Clarkson said increased versatility has also been pivotal.
Four-time best and fairest Sam Mitchell was blanketed by Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley, but Mitchell's time spent at halfback this year meant others were equipped to pick up the midfield slack.
Franklin has won two Coleman Medals, but spent much of yesterday upfield, with Gunston the main goal-kicker, as he was in the preliminary final win over Geelong.
The experience of last year's upset 10-point grand final loss to Sydney no doubt also steeled the Hawks, particularly when the Dockers charged from 23 points down at half-time to within three in the third term.
``We won a flag in 2008 which probably the whole footy world and our footy club thought was a little bit quicker than we thought we were going to win it,'' Clarkson said.
``We were obviously delighted to win.
``But it's taken a lot of hard work to win this second one.''
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was confident his first-time grand finalists can challenge again next year.
First they must face the pain of missed opportunities, particularly their early extreme inaccuracy in front of goal.
``The start will haunt us for a while and the missed opportunities will hurt us,'' Lyon said.