Young guns Mitchell Lewis and Oliver Hanrahan have provided a window to a bright future for Hawthorn during their upset AFL win over Collingwood at the MCG.
If Hawthorn's AFL season has been something to endure for their supporters, the Hawks' last-gasp win over Collingwood will inspire plenty of optimism.
The next generation shone brightly at the MCG as Hawthorn flipped the script in the final quarter, piling on four straight goals on the way to a well-deserved 9.13 (67) to 9.9 (63) victory on Friday.
Second-gamer Oliver Hanrahan and fellow rookie Mitchell Lewis played key roles in the Hawks' resurgence, each finishing with two goals.
The Hawks trailed by 10 points at three-quarter time before Clarkson spun the magnets, sending Jack Gunston down back and Tim O'Brien forward in a bid to win the aerial battle.
Emerging key forward Lewis was dangerous throughout and put the Hawks ahead for the first time midway through the quarter with a cool set shot from 45m out.
"He's still got plenty to learn but he's getting exposure to the level and he's giving himself a chance every game now to get two or three shots at goal," Clarkson said of the 20-year-old.
"Any key forward that's trying to find their way in the game, you're not getting more than two or three shots at goal.
"The amount of kids like (Tom) Boyd and (Josh) Schache and (Jesse) Hogan, first-round draft picks that are meant to be taking the game by storm in a sense compared to what they're doing at under-18 level, it's just so difficult at senior level.
"It takes a long time to learn the game."
The rebuilding Hawks had endured four consecutive losses prior to Friday night's game and Clarkson acknowledged it would bring some much-needed cheer to fans to see the likes of Lewis and Hanrahan stepping up.
"I reckon that our Hawks supporters would be seeing that there's some kids there who might emerge into good players for us over the next few years," Clarkson said.
"And if they go on to be really good players then we'll give ourselves a chance to win some silverware again in the not too distant future."