Hawthorn say looking back to last year's AFL grand final defeat could do more harm than good as they seek to go one better next Saturday.

The Hawks were hot favourites before losing a thriller to Sydney last season and will again enter this year's decider firmly favoured to clinch their first premiership since 2008.

But skipper Luke Hodge said while the memory of last year's defeat might have driven them in the off-season, it's not relevant this week.

"I wouldn't think so," Hodge told reporters on Saturday.

"The loss of a grand final is always going to be with you because obviously it's heart-breaking at the time.

"It was a motivator throughout the pre-season.

"But at the moment and throughout the season we're just focused on what we can do at the moment and going in it's another great opportunity for the footy club."

Forward Jarryd Roughead said if the club spent time dwelling on last year it could disturb players' confidence for Saturday's big game.

"The whole group's changed a fair bit around here," he said.

"We don't want to be remembering losses with some of the boys that didn't even play in the granny last year.

"We want to make their experience of this week a very good one and build their confidence up, so that hopefully on Saturday we're all right to go and don't need to worry about what happened last year."

Hodge was one of several Hawthorn stars below their best in Friday night's preliminary final win over Geelong.

But he said the fact that they won anyway was a good sign.

"A few of our older guys probably didn't play to the level we expect," he said.

"But that's a positive we've had throughout the year, we haven't left it to two or three guys.

"We've had 22 guys that have come on, done their job and that's why you get a chance to play finals football.

"We'll look at this week and expect that everyone will go out and do the same thing and play their role."

He admitted the clash with the Cats was physically brutal.

But aside from youngster Brendan Whitecross, who has almost certainly been struck down with a long-term knee injury, he said all players were moving freely on Saturday morning.