Last time Brendon Bolton was barking out instructions in the Hawthorn camp, Blake Hardwick was a 17-year-old prospect within a drop punt from its Waverley Park base.
The Eastern Ranges 1.81m forward was drafted into the club at pick 44 in 2015 - three months from a highly sought after assistant left with the Hawks' blessing for Carlton.
"He left just as I came in," Hardwick recalls, looking out to Bolton on Windsor Park.
"So I didn't get to meet him when I did arrive and didn't think I would. So it's nice to see him back at the club."
Coach Alastair Clarkson was adamant that he wanted Bolton back on his coaching staff soon after the Blues coach of nearly four seasons was shown the door at Princes Park by club heavyweights.
Hardwick has noticed over preseason Bolton has fitted into his old surrounds like he never left despite a new list.
"He's getting to know a lot of younger boys and I'm the one of them," Hardwick said.
"Obviously, the club thinks highly of Bolts to bring him straight back. I think we're all happy with that too."
The ex-North Launceston star started coaching the Box Hill Hawks in 2009, but only moved from Hawthorn's VFL affiliate to its seniors in 2011.
Bolton was the right-hand man for Clarkson over the next five years that coincided with four consecutive grand final appearances and three straight AFL flags in 2013-15.
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The re-acquisition for the club has almost translated this year to Hawthorn having two AFL coaches in charge.
"I think it is refreshing to have another voice around the club that can speak up and give out ideas to all of the boys," Hardwick said.
"He's seen it all through all those premierships and stuff after that. He's certainly another voice that knows what he's talking about."
Both Bolton and Hardwick had returned to Launceston on the weekend, taking part in the junior football super clinic at Windsor Park.
Unlike the club's community camps of the past, the start to the six-day trip was a soft approach to its inaugural preseason training camp in the home away from home.
For Hardwick, who had debuted with eight disposals at UTAS Stadium in round 19, 2016, there was no regret with the recent cool change.
"It's a best time to be here for the weather. Usually it's about 10 degrees and raining when we're playing," he said.
But the only other forecast that Hardwick was prepared to deliver was the Hawks will sizzle up the 2020 season.
"Last year we played pretty well in the last few weeks, especially the last game against West Coast," Hardwick said.
"So if we can just continue that off from there, plus with some more new faces and talent to the club, I think we can go pretty well this time."
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