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Perkins, a Hawk

Crows star Perkins joins the Hawks Sarah Perkins has announced she is playing for Hawthorn during the 2018 VFLW season following a successful season in the AFLW.

Hawthorn has secured the signature of inaugural AFLW premiership player and star Adelaide Crows forward Sarah Perkins ahead of the upcoming 2018 VFLW season.

Perkins proved her football ability during the first AFLW season, booting 11 goals from eight appearances – the second most of any player in the league. She was duly recognised for her stellar year, with the 24-year-old named in the forward line of the 2017 All Australian team. 

“It was pretty surreal,” Perkins said of her first season with the Crows.

“It’s still kind of sinking in.

“To be there on the last day and to be presented with a medal is something pretty special and something I’m really proud of, and I’m so grateful to be a part of the team.” 

While the 2018 premiership defence didn’t go to plan, with the Crows finishing fifth on the AFLW ladder with three wins, three losses and a draw, Perkins will have another shot at a flag when she pulls on the Hawthorn Guernsey in the VFLW later this year.

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Before her whirlwind AFLW career began, Perkins was your typical AFL supporter, attending the footy every weekend with her Dad, decked out in brown and gold.

“I’ve followed the club since I was a little kid, so the chance to pull on the colours is something that is really exciting, particularly for my family,” she said. 

“Dad’s been a member since he was a kid, and loves it more than any of us.

“My brother and sister are also Hawthorn members, but my mum’s a Melbourne supporter so she’s a bit outnumbered.”

Indeed, her father Ken has long been a member of the Hawthorn cheer squad, and would often take his young family out to open training sessions at Waverley Park. 

“He took me along to the Hawks’ training one day while Sam Mitchell was doing his rehab,” Perkins recalls. 

“I was lucky enough to have a bit of a kick with him, so that’s a memory that has always been pretty special to me. 

“It’s not very often you get to have a kick with a footballer that you idolise.”

Perkins, who now permanently resides in Adelaide, briefly returned to Melbourne to play six games for the Eastern Devils in last year’s VFLW season, before the Devils announced their withdrawal from the league. 

After dealing with bouts of home sickness during 2017, the sought-after forward has opted to return to Melbourne for the entire VFLW season this year, and is set to pick up some part time work at her new club. 

“Now that I’ll be doing some work with the Hawks, I see it as a really good opportunity to come home for six months during the off-season of AFLW. 

“I really struggled with home sickness last year, so it will be nice to be with my family at home while still playing footy at a high level.” 

A fan favourite in the inaugural AFL women’s season, Perkins’ story is an inspiring one for young girls across the country.

Not only did she shed an incredible 40kg in pursuit of her AFLW dream, she also faced adversity after being overlooked by all four Victorian clubs in the state-based draft.

But, Perkins responded in the best way possible; she pushed her case to interstate clubs (with help from family and friends), earned her place on Adelaide’s list, showed up week after week on the field, before sealing the deal with a premiership and All Australian selection.

And now, young Hawthorn fans will have the opportunity to see one of the most lauded AFLW figures pull on the brown and gold.

“It will be pretty special playing for the first Hawthorn women’s team, particularly with the family being so involved in the club,” said Perkins. 

“It’s exciting to be a part of a club with such a great history, and hopefully we can create our own history in the women’s tournament.

“And then, all going to plan, I’ll hopefully come back at the end of the VFLW season, to play AFLW season number three and continue my career with the Crows.”

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