Smith deals with unfamiliar AFL territory

Midfielder Isaac Smith has entered unfamiliar territory in his AFL career as Hawthorn deal with a succession of heavy losses.

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But he knows enough to realise if catastrophic change is coming, it won’t be pretty.

Since his 2011 debut, Smith has played in three premierships and he boasts a 75 per cent win-loss record.

The number 75 was St Kilda’s winning margin over Hawthorn on Sunday, which prompted coach Alastair Clarkson to warn of potential catastrophic change at the club.

The Hawks are in crisis with a 1-5 record, which also features 86-point losses to Gold Coast and Geelong.

“I’m guessing in footy clubs, when teams aren’t playing too well, the players go fast and then, if the rot keeps going, then the whole club changes – a shake-up,” he told RSN.

“Footy doesn’t wait for anyone – history shows that if you keep losing and keep losing badly, the whole club gets turned upside down.”

Smith has backed Hawthorn’s abilities – on the rare occasion they’ve been brought to an AFL match.

He noted on Thursday they have also shown signs of life this season.

“We beat West Coast the other week and beat them really well, so it shows when we bring it, we can play well,” he said.

“We’re the only side to be up by four or five goals against Adelaide with 10 minutes to go in the third.

“We’re just not bringing it at the moment.”

They now play Melbourne, who are coming off a strong win over Essendon and are 3-3.

Hawks great Jordan Lewis will be the focus of attention at the MCG on Sunday when he plays against them for the first time.

“Most people who’ve played against Lewy know he has a bit of lip on him and he’s a bit of a character out there,” Smith said.

“Lewy’s going to be pretty fired up, but we’re going to be pretty fired up as well, so it’s going to be a nice contest.”