Of course, the premiership run didn’t end there. The Hawks played in four consecutive Grand Finals between 2012–15, winning three in a row. “It was pretty surreal,” Luke says of the experience. “Guys go through their whole careers without playing in a Grand Final.”
It’s a remarkable feat, considering their dominance stoked a fire in the belly of many of their opposing teams. “No matter what opposition you played, they knew they were coming up against the premiers and wanted to try and knock you off,” Luke says.
Looking back, he attributes the Hawks success to the dynamics formed within the team. “One of the biggest factors was personnel. We had such a unique group in terms of six to eight senior guys that are great leaders of the club. Coupled with a group of youthful guys with energy and spirit who we’re going to be the next wave.”
Ultimately, though, the realisation of such incredible success came down to a vision shared by the whole team. “We used to have a little poster on the wall in our team meeting room; it just said ‘You decide’,” Luke says. “It was about us deciding our fate and what history [was] going to say.”