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Letter to members: September continues

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 06: Jeff Kennett looks dejected after a loss during the 2018 AFL First Qualifying Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 06, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jeff Kennett watched on as his Hawks contested last week's Qualifying Final against Richmond.

President Jeff Kennett has penned the following letter to members...

Dear Hawkers,

Well what an extraordinary few days we have had!

Thursday night our boys played a valiant first half at the MCG against Richmond before the Tigers went on to victory.

Disappointing! However, sometimes in life you have to lose to win!

That is not to take away from Richmond. They played very well and deserved their win.

As we finished fourth we get another chance to qualify for the last Saturday in September.

So this Friday night Alastair Clarkson and the team return to the MCG to take on Melbourne, who had a wonderful victory against Geelong.

Again, it will be an exciting encounter and the best team on the night will then proceed to the Preliminary Final. Let’s hope our boys will emerge victorious.

When I looked at our team last Thursday night, I realised while many were new to finals, one was also very new to football.

Conor Nash, an Irish lad by birth, at just 20 years of age was playing only his fourth game of Australian Rules football at the senior level.  And in a final! What an extraordinary achievement.

As much as I want to win on Friday night, regardless of the result in 2018 I am very excited about what the future holds for us over the next five years.

On Saturday I went to see our VFLW team play against ladder leaders Collingwood for a grand final berth.

Our girls won in a thrilling game.

Please bear in mind it was only in October last year that we put together a VFLW team under the Hawthorn banner. Here we are not 12 months later, and we are playing off in two weeks for the premiership.

This is an achievement of which we can all be proud.

Hawthorn were the first team in the VFLW competition to financially reward all players selected to carry our colours in a game. We did this because we thought it was only fair and just.

Our coach Paddy Hill and his staff have done a remarkable job in building this group of athletes into a cohesive team. Importantly all members of the team are very grateful for the opportunities they have been given to live out their dreams.

On Sunday we went back to North Port Oval to see our VFL team take on and defeat Geelong for the right to play in the VFL Preliminary Final.

Again, it was a tough game, but the tackling and discipline of the team was fantastic. As it turned out we ran out comfortable winners, but the score did not reflect the tenacity of the game.

Next week the Box Hill Hawks will take on Williamstown who finished third on the ladder to our sixth. So, another very real challenge. If yesterday’s commitment is repeated, we will again be highly competitive, and I hope victors.

To Coach Chris Newman and his colleagues and players, we will be with you next Sunday, hopefully lifting you to more success.

This game will again be played at North Port Oval at 2:10pm and I hope to see many members there in the brown and gold.

So, you happy Hawkers, as we enter the second week of September we have our three football teams still in the competition for premiership glory.

What a wonderful position to be in. Our netball team having already won their premiership.

So, as a club with 80,000 members we should never forget we have three football teams wearing our colours, each as important as the other.

The next week will be important, but while hoping for success, regardless of the result we can be very proud of our club.

Brief today but trying to stay calm.

Cheers

 

Jeff Kennett

Your very proud President

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