Main content

Reeves expecting finals in 2018

Two teams unite for a session The Box Hill Hawks and the Hawthorn's women's team had a combined training session down at Waverley stadium so both teams could benefit from each other's experience.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves says it’s an exciting time at the club ahead of Round 1 as the Hawks expect a return to finals this season.

After missing out on the top eight last year, Reeves said those inside the club had every belief they were bound for September in 2018, with the development of the club’s younger players set to drive them back up the ladder.

“Everyone here expects to play finals,” Reeves told SEN on Tuesday.

“That’s our belief completely and we think last year, while it wasn’t ideal, it actually had some upside in unearthing some of those players.”

The Hawks had several senior players suffer long term injuries last season, something that contributed to the club’s 12th place finish, but also presented the side with the opportunity to give greater exposure to its young talent.

“We probably faced challenges ahead of time and they’re exciting prospects moving forward so it’s pretty exciting,” Reeves said.

One of the players to go down with injury in 2017 was four-time premiership hero Cyril Rioli, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Round 8.

Rioli has since spent much of the preseason in Darwin after his father suffered a heart attack, but Reeves has declared Rioli remains a solid chance to return in Round 1.

“Cyril is fit, he’s been training as well as anybody, we think he’s a really strong chance for Round 1.”

“Cyril’s preparation wasn’t ideal but we as a club made a decision with Cyril that he was best to be with his family at that time.

“I was fortunate enough to go up to Darwin about three weeks ago and spend a little bit of time with Cyril and his family and I understand the importance of that.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs